British Virgin Islands


The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is a self-governing British Overseas Territory.  UK sanctions are extended to the BVI through Orders in Council made by the UK Privy Council pursuant to section 63 of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018.

National Competent Authorities

The Office of the Governor is the competent authority for sanctions in the British Virgin Islands.  The Financial Services Commission provides guidance and monitors compliance with sanctions.


The Governor of the BVI with the consent of the UK Secretary of State may issue licences permitting transactions otherwise prohibited by sanctions.  The Governor may also need to notify or seek approval from the UNSC prior to granting a licence for UN sanctions regimes.

Licence applications must be made to the Governor’s Office by email at Forms can be found online on the both FSC and FIA’s website.

Applications should provide evidence which demonstrates that the criteria of the relevant licensing ground have been met, for example: the intended purpose of the transaction; intended payment route; sender and receiver of funds; how the funds will be accounted for; and an explanation of the reasonableness of the proposed payment.

The grounds for issuing licences are in the legislation underpinning each sanctions regime.  Common grounds for issuing a licence include:

  • basic needs of a designated person or dependent family member(s);
  • reasonable professional fees and disbursements for the provision of legal services;
  • fees and service charges for routine holding or maintenance of frozen funds or economic resources;
  • extraordinary expenses;
  • extraordinary situations;
  • satisfying prior obligations under a contract or pre-existing judicial decisions that arose prior to the designation of the person/entity; and
  • humanitarian assistance activity, etc.

The granting of a licence will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  The Governor may attach reporting conditions to a licence.  Licences will not be issued retrospectively.

The Virgin Islands General Licences

The Virgin Islands Financial Sanctions Guidelines, page 35

Appendix I – Licence Application Form

Virgin Islands General Licence No.6 2024 (Payment of Reasonable Professional Legal Fees and Expenses)

Virgin Islands General Licence No. 5 2023 (payment of reasonable professional legal fees and expenses)

Virgin Islands General Licence No. 4 2023 (Maintenance of Economic Resources)

Virgin Islands General Licence No. 3, 2023 (Payment of Reasonable Professional Legal Fees and Expenses)

Virgin Islands General Licence No. 2 2023 (Wind Down of Trust Services Provided to Designated Persons)

Virgin Islands General Licence No. 1, 2023 (As Amended) (Russian Oil Price Cap)


“Relevant firms” and “relevant businesses” (defined in the relevant sanctions legislation) are required to inform the Governor’s Office as soon as practicable if they know or have reasonable cause to suspect that:

  • they are holding an asset suspected of being owned or controlled by a designated person or entity; and
  • they are dealing with a designated person or entity and that person or entity is a customer of the firm/business.

The firm/business must also inform the Financial Investigation Agency of any actions it has taken in respect of a suspected breach of sanctions by a designated person or entity (e.g. information on assets which have been frozen) and suspicious activities/transactions related to terrorist financing and terrorist acts.

The Virgin Islands Financial Sanctions Guidelines, page 27

Appendix II – Compliance Reporting