Government creates joint task force on Russian sanctions | Loop Cayman Islands

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In keeping with the Cayman Islands’ role as a global partner committed to helping maintain peace and security around the world, the Cayman Islands Government has established a joint task force to coordinate, identify, and implement policy amendments to implement the Russia Sanctions. The United Kingdom’s sanctions on Russia impact the work of multiple agencies throughout the Cayman Islands Government (CIG).

The establishment of the taskforce was supported at the highest levels of government, with both His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper and the Attorney General Mr. Samuel Bulgin noting that the mission of the cross-government team is “further confirmation of Cayman’s pro-active response to the sanctions initiatives.” The primary purpose of the task force is to provide centralised discussions and decisions around policy and communications arising from the ongoing sanctions. The task force is chaired by the Director of the Financial Reporting Authority, RJ Berry, with the Cabinet Office, as task force coordinator, facilitating and coordinating inter-agency cooperation, policy, and communications. Representatives from the following agencies comprise the task force:

Office of the Governor Ministry of Financial Services and CommerceCayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA)Financial Reporting Authority (FRA)Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands (CAA)Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands (MACI)General Registry Cayman IslandsLand Registry Cayman IslandsCayman Islands Customs and Border ControlCayman Islands Bureau of Financial InvestigationsCabinet Office

The task force meets on a weekly basis to review development and determine actions that need to be taken by each agency, domestically and internationally.

Of note, since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, more than 800 asset freeze designations of individuals and entities have been enforced in the Cayman Islands. In compliance with their obligations under The Russia (Sanctions) (Overseas Territories) Order 2020, numerous financial service providers (FSPs) have submitted over 400 Compliance Reporting Forms confirming that assets with an estimated value of US$7.3 billion have been frozen.

Regarding the asset freezes, FRA Director, Mr. Berry said:

The level of reporting to date is indicative that financial services providers are able to identify funds or economic resources owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by designated persons and are freezing those assets or economic resources. The relevant agencies within the Cayman Islands also have a long-standing track record of responsiveness and cooperation with international counterparts, and will continue to maintain that record in our approach to the Russia Sanctions.

The recent amendments to The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations are expected to be extended to the Cayman Islands via The Russia (Sanctions) (Overseas Territories) (Amendment) Order 2022, to come into force on April 14 2022. These amendments include new financial, trade, and maritime measures, and restrict specified financial services with the Russian Central Bank and other Russian Federation agencies. Sanction measures apply in the Cayman Islands in the same way they do in the United Kingdom.

Commenting on the Cayman Islands’ approach to the sanctions, Premier, Hon. G. Wayne Panton said:

The establishment of this task force demonstrates the Cayman Islands’ proactive approach to compliance with international sanctions. Collaboration and coordination between our public service entities has resulted in swift, unequivocal action. Our commitment to robust regulations in the Cayman Islands financial services sector has ensured that we are able to contribute to international peacekeeping, global security, and good governance.” Echoing the sentiments of the Premier, HE Roper shared, “I am grateful for all the hard work that has gone into implementing Russia sanctions. This underlines the reputation of the Cayman Islands as a responsible and reputable financial centre working to implement the highest standards.

The Cayman Islands is monitoring the global situation and will continue to issue sanctions updates primarily via the FRA and CIMA circulation lists and websites as advised by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. The Cayman Islands Government stands ready to carry out the sanctions as extended by the United Kingdom.

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