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Date: 26 May, 2009
Source: Invest Barbados

The 2009 Budgetary Proposals were delivered by Prime Minister David Thompson on May 18, 2009. Within the proposals were several provisions relating to Barbados’ international financial services sectors seeking to strengthen and improve the products we offer to our clientele. Measures to bolster the services exports sectors were also included.

Below is a summary of the measures in both areas which will be undertaken by Team Barbados:

Investment Promotion
International Business

Trusts

– The International Trust Act will be amended to allow for the creation and regulation of Private Trust Companies.

– Legislative changes will also include a clear definition of “trust business” so as to better define the spectrum of services which Service Providers offer under the banner of trust services and the central registration of all International Trusts; guidelines on the licensing of trust companies and identification of the principals involved in the transaction.

Headquarters and Holding Companies

– The Property Transfer Tax Act and the Stamp Duty Act will be amended to include a transfer to a non resident of Barbados of shares of a company, whose assets consist wholly of foreign shares, foreign securities and other foreign assets and whose income is derived solely from sources outside of Barbados.

– The Income Tax Act provides that an individual, who is resident but not domiciled in Barbados, is taxable on income derived from local sources and on foreign income that is remitted or deemed remitted to Barbados. We will amend the Income Tax Act to reduce the effective rate of income tax that such individuals would be required to pay on their foreign income and to enable an individual who becomes domiciled here also, to claim the foreign currency earnings credit in respect of his income derived from outside Barbados.

– Dividends derived by Barbadian resident companies, including companies licensed to operate in the international business sector shall be exempt from tax in Barbados on dividends derived from a “substantial shareholding” in an overseas company.

– Exemptions will be granted from withholding tax in respect of dividends paid by a resident company to non resident shareholders out of foreign source income earned by the company.
Financial Services Commission

– The Barbados Financial Services Commission (FSC) will be launched in the first quarter of 2010. The FSC will be responsible for all non-banking activities in Barbados regardless as to the source of the investment. It will therefore exercise jurisdiction over international non-financial business activity. The Central Bank of Barbados will retain regulatory oversight for the banking sector.

Ships Registry

The Shipping Corporations Act (1996) will be amended to:

– Permit the incorporation of shipping corporations that are offshore (in terms of requisite authority) and that are domestic.

– Remove the restriction that a Director may not be a resident of Barbados.

– Amend the purposes of the Act to include, e.g. the registration of incorporated and unincorporated bodies for expanded shipping activities. (The main focus is to enable the incorporation of a company to operate bareboat charters, allow for the registration of external companies under the Act as well as the registration of a company owning a ship registered in another jurisdiction.)

– Enable a shipping corporation incorporated in another jurisdiction to be registered as an External Corporation under the Act.

Shipping Incentives

The Shipping Incentives Act (1982) will be amended to:

– Include game/sports fishing.

– Extend customs duty-free concessions to fishing, rods and reels, safety equipment such as life rafts, satellite tracking systems, flares, fire extinguishers; lifejackets; satellite navigational systems, depth sounders; VHS, SSB and AM Radios, to any company engaged in commercial shipping and boating in the tourist industry (including game/sports fishers) from ten to fifteen years.

Services Exports
Creative Economy

– A new regime of incentives encapsulated in a Bill for Cultural Industries which will include import duty reductions and corporation or income tax relief for approved projects.

– Concessions, credits and exemptions for the benefit of cultural practitioners and approved corporate, governmental and other entities as a means of facilitating the requisite investment and capitalisation for cultural projects, including those designed for heritage development and preservation.

For the complete Budgetary Proposals 2009, please see: http://www.gisbarbados.gov.bb/plugins/p2_news/printarticle.php?p2_articleid=1750