Bahamas updates

Arbitration & ADR

Supreme Court identifies its jurisdictional limits to assist in trust arbitration proceedings
  • Bahamas
  • 05 September 2019

The Supreme Court recently clarified its jurisdictional limits to assist in trust-related arbitrations, ruling that it has no such jurisdiction to allow service outside an action's jurisdiction. Given this ruling, parties to trust arbitration agreements must be cognisant that, notwithstanding whether their trust deeds provide for the seat of any arbitration to be The Bahamas, the court can provide only limited assistance where the arbitration is not held and the parties or assets are not in The Bahamas.


Aviation

Contributed by HarleyJames
Dawning of a new age: proposed legislation shapes future of aviation
  • Bahamas
  • 27 January 2021

The introduction of three new bills will herald the dawning of a new age in aviation in The Bahamas and position the jurisdiction to attain the international recognition that it deserves. These bills – the Civil Aviation Bill, the Civil Aviation Authority Bill and the Air Navigation Services Authority Bill – address the issues arising from, and remedy the defects found in, the 2017 International Civil Aviation Organisation audit, the current Civil Aviation Act and the Civil Aviation (General) Regulations.

Efforts to restore and boost air travel
  • Bahamas
  • 25 November 2020

Like the rest of the world, the Bahamian aviation sector continues to reel from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D'Aguilar recently addressed the easing of restrictions on air travel to, from and within The Bahamas. A travel health visa, subject to certain exceptions (eg, children under 10 years of age and crew of commercial airlines), is still required by persons travelling into or within The Bahamas.

Second eclipse for aviation sector?
  • Bahamas
  • 02 September 2020

The overall effect of the COVID-19 crisis on the Bahamian aviation sector is unknown and may be for some time; however, there is no doubt that the short-term effects have been severe. Tourism and aviation in The Bahamas go hand in hand, with one affecting the other. The pandemic may provide an opportunity for the country's aviation industry, as there is increasing interest from private aircraft owners and those willing to spend a little more in order to avoid the constraints of scheduled commercial travel.

COVID-19: aviation industry in eclipse?
  • Bahamas
  • 22 April 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the global aviation industry on its head with operations slowly grinding to a complete halt. At present, no international or domestic flights are permitted to operate to, from or within The Bahamas with the exception of those authorised by The Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority to conduct cargo or emergency relief flights.

Aviation 2019: a year in review
  • Bahamas
  • 25 March 2020

There was much progress in The Bahamas' aviation sector in 2019; in particular, the completion of the runway rehabilitation project at the country's gateway airport and the aircraft registry project. Unfortunately, there were also a few setbacks. This article provides an overview of the main issues that affected the aviation sector in The Bahamas over the past 12 months.


Corporate & Commercial

COVID-19: force majeure and contract frustration
Lennox Paton
  • Bahamas
  • 05 October 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted commercial activity on a global scale, challenging contracting parties' ability to fulfil their legal obligations. Force majeure clauses and frustration principles may provide some relief to those which may otherwise incur liability because of non-performance. However, there does not appear to be any clear case law precedent for COVID-19, so it is uncertain whether the pandemic will be deemed a frustrating event by the courts.


Corporate Tax

CESRA: economic substance reporting deadline extension
Lennox Paton
  • Bahamas
  • 22 January 2021

The Commercial Entities Substance Requirements Act (CESRA) 2018 requires all legal entities registered in The Bahamas to comply with economic substance reporting by submitting an annual filing to the minister of finance. Economic substance reporting under CESRA must be completed within nine months of the entity's fiscal year end; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline in respect of reporting for 2019 has been extended to 31 January 2021.


Employment & Immigration

COVID-19: lay-offs, short time and redundancies – what you need to know
Lennox Paton
  • Bahamas
  • 15 April 2020

In times of crisis such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, employers and employees alike need to be aware of their rights and obligations. Employers should ensure that lay-off or short-time actions are taken with due consideration and in accordance with the Employment Act. Employees should be prepared for the possibility of being laid off or put on short time and, understanding their options under the law, work with their employer to produce the best outcome for both parties.