Several laws came into force this month, including consumer protection legislation. (File photo: ZARRIN TASNIM AHMED)

Laws on gambling, consumer protection, digital security and other matters recently got the go-ahead from Premier Andrew Fahie and Governor John Rankin, who brought 18 acts into force this month. The governor assented to four other bills as well.

Nearly a year after former Governor Gus Jaspert assented to the Consumer Protection Act 2020, Mr. Fahie officially brought it into force on July 9. The Virgin Islands Trade Commission designed to oversee consumer protection laws “launched” last February but had no members at the time, and government has not announced an update since then.

The premier also brought other acts into force as of July 9 through notices Gazetted on July 13: the Customs Management and Duties (Amendment) Act 2021; the Data Protection Act 2021; the Electronic Filing Act 2021; the Electronic Transactions Act 2021; the Electronic Transfer of Funds Act 2021; the Virgin Islands Special Trusts (Amendment) Act 2021; the Administration of Small Estates (Amendment) Act 2021; and Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Act 2021. The Financial Services Commission (Amendment) Act 2021 came into force July 19.

The digital data bills received the governor’s assent in April.

Gambling

Another bill that has drawn attention was the Virgin Islands Gaming and Betting Control Act, which the House of Assembly passed on June 18, 2020. Mr. Rankin brought it and six others into force on July 9.

Despite concerns raised by some community leaders and members of the House, legislators unanimously voted to legalise gambling in the territory, and Mr. Jaspert assented on Aug. 20. Legislators have not since announced any major moves to launch a new industry in the territory.

According to notices published in the Gazette on July 9, Mr. Rankin also brought into force the Criminal Code (Amendment) Act 2021; the Drug Trafficking Offences (Amendment) Act 2021; the Probates (Resealing) Act 2021; the Proceeds of Criminal Conduct (Amendment) Act 2021; the Proliferation Financing (Prohibition) Act 2021; and the Trustee (Amendment) Act 2021. Most of these bills received assent last month.

The Registration of Births and Deaths Act 2021 also came into force per a proclamation Gazetted July 8.

Assent

On July 19, Mr. Rankin assented to the Criminal Justice (International Cooperation) (Amendment) Act 2021; the Counter-Terrorism Act 2021; and the Financial Investigation Agency (Amendment) Act 2021.

He also assented to the Beneficial Ownerships Secure Search System (Amendment) Act 2021 on July 15.


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