By Alec R. Anderson, Davina Hargun, Peter A.S. Pearman

The Charities Amendment Act, 2018 (the “Amendment Act”), which amends the Charities Act, 2014 (the “Act”), was passed in Bermuda’s House of Assembly on 27 July 2018. The purpose of the Amendment Act is to enhance Bermuda’s AML/ATF regulatory framework relating to charities that are privately funded. The operative date of the Amendment Act is 10 August 2018 (“Commencement Date”).

The changes were undertaken in response to the international efforts of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) through the Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”) which has requested all members to adopt certain regulatory measures relating to charities. There is some concern that charity structures in countries other than Bermuda have been involved in financing terrorist activities. While there have been no known cases involving Bermuda charities and terrorist activities, Bermuda has agreed to augment its laws to assist in tightening the
oversight of certain charitable structures created under Bermuda law.