Covid-19 – Operating Protocols of Bahamian Regulatory Bodies
In accordance with the Emergency Powers (Covid 19) (No.2) Order, 2020 (“Order”) which came into effect on 24th March, 2020, all private businesses, as well as government agencies within The Bahamas, unless specifically designated as an ‘essential establishment’ or specifically exempted in writing by the Prime Minister of The Bahamas, were required to temporarily close their physical offices to the general public, and continue business operations remotely until 9:00 am on 8 April 2020.
In compliance with the Order, the current operating protocols of various Bahamian regulatory bodies are as follows:
The Bahamas Investment Authority
The physical offices of the Ministry of Finance, from which the BIA conducts its’ operations is closed to the general public until 8 April 2020.
Applications & Correspondences
The public may continue to submit applications and correspondences to the BIA via the direct email contacts of officials whose contact information they possess.
The Central Bank of The Bahamas
The physical offices of the Central Bank is closed to the general public until 8 April 2020. The Bank will conduct all meetings with the public by virtual means (that is by teleconference or video conference).
The public may continue to contact the Central Bank through the published email and telephone numbers and the direct contacts of officials whose contact information they possess.
Exchange Control & Regulatory Reporting
All services for Exchange Control authorisation, and regulatory reporting and communications are available through the electronic channels that have been shared with relevant stakeholders.
The Securities Commission of The Bahamas
The physical offices of the Securities Commission is closed to the general public until 8 April 2020.
Correspondences & Documents
The public may continue to contact the Commission with any queries, concerns or complaints through the direct email contacts of officials whose contact information they possess. Any documents required to be submitted to the Commission must be in electronic format and provided to the relevant official via email. In the absence of any specific contact information of officials, emails may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The main phone lines of the Commission are not operational.
Payments to the Commission may be sent via wire transfer. Wire transfer details may be provided upon request.
The Commission will continue the licensing and registration of persons pursuant to its regulatory powers.
The Department of Inland Revenue
The Department is closed to the general public until 8 April 2020.
The Department continues to afford the public with access to services via the online tax platform – www.vat.revenue.gov.bs and www.propertytax.gov.bs including, filing and paying business related taxes, filing returns and paying Value Added Tax and making requests for a Tax Compliance Certificate,.
Queries may be directed to the help desk at 242-225-7280 or via email to email@example.com.
The Registrar General’s Department
Office Closure & Temporary Suspension of Operations
The Department is closed to the general public and has temporarily suspended all operations until 8 April 2020.
The Department of Immigration
Office Closure in New Providence and Grand Bahama
The Department is closed to the general public and has suspended daily operations at its’ offices in New Providence (Hawkins Hill and Monarch House locations) and in Grand Bahama (Cornelius A. Smith Government Center), until 8 April, 2020.
The Department continues to operate at the Lynden Pindling International Airport, Prince George Dock & Marinas and the Immigration Detention Center, with suspended public visitation.
Detention Center (1-242-604-0171/2)
Lynden Pindling Int’l Airport (1-242-604-0201)
Prince George Dock (1-242-604-0204)
General Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dated: 30 March 2020
Author: Lakera McSweeney (email@example.com)