The changes introduced by the Amendment Act apply to privately funded charities. A privately funded charity is defined as a charity that does not solicit funds from the Bermuda public, and does not receive funding from the Bermuda Government or from Bermuda public sources.
The scope of the exemption from full registration under the Act in Section 18(4) has been limited. Previously, a privately funded charity with a private trust company acting as trustee would be exempt from the general registration requirements. However, Section 18 of the Act has been amended so that the only charities that are now exempt from full registration are:
All exempted charities which meet the criteria set out above must complete the limited registration under the new Section 17A for exempted charities.
Charities which do not meet the exemption criteria set out above must comply with the full registration requirements and on-going accounting and reporting requirements contained in Parts 3 and 5 of the Act.
Privately funded charities that are established after the Commencement Date must, within one month of establishment:
Where, by virtue of section 18(4), it is believed a charity is exempted, the charity trustees shall provide to the Registrar General:
A key change introduced by the Amendment Act is the register of exempted charities. Section 17 of the Act has been amended to require the Registrar General to keep a separate part in the register for charities that are privately funded and either have a licensed trustee or registered office with a licensed corporate service provider, in accordance with the exemption criteria set out above. The Registrar General can enter such information as he may determine in relation to such charities.
The Act states that information on exempted charities will not be available to the public even under the Public Access to Information Act. Section 17A of the Act has been amended and states as follows:
“(3) Notwithstanding any provision of the Public Access to Information Act, 2010, no person who–
|“(3) Notwithstanding any provision of the Public Access to Information Act, 2010, no person who–|
|a)||obtains, receives or otherwise becomes aware of information or documents relating to a charity that is privately funded; or|
|b)||receives a request under the Public Access to Information Act, 2010 for such information or documents,
shall disclose the request or such information or documents so requested.”
Charities that were exempted prior to the Amendment Act, but now cease to be, must contact the Registrar General within three months from the Commencement Date. Such charities are required to:
Charities that are currently exempted, and believe they continue to qualify as such, have one month from the Commencement Date to contact the Registrar General. Such charities are required to:
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Changes to Bermuda’s Charities Act Affect Privately Funded Charities