Part 2: COVID 19 – Companies Registration Office Filings
Following on from Part 1 of our COVID 19 series of articles below is a summary of the current situation and obligations relating to the Company Registration Office (the “CRO”).
The CRO announced that it will not be in a position to process submissions or answer queries at this time. You can see that announcement here.
Concerns were then raised amongst the legal profession and amongst clients alike following this statement. For example, there were concerns around the timeframe to incorporate new companies, file C1 Forms to register securities, and the ability to conduct closing searches. There were also calls that CRO should provide such services remotely (albeit with some level of delay) particularly in light of the fact that financial and legal services have been deemed essential services.
No doubt in response to such concerns, the CRO has issued a further statement as of the 1 April 2020 clarifying that it was offering limited services to the public including company incorporations and receipt of charges.
The CRO has also provided some guidance on what it deems to be essential filing obligations.
Where a company’s obligation to return its Form B1 falls in March, April or May the filing will be deemed to have been made on time if all elements of the annual return are completed and returned by 30 June 2020.
Summary Approval Procedures (SAPs)
In normal circumstances documents relating to the SAP process to be filed with the CRO must be the original wet ink signature version. The CRO has introduced a new process to allow for the electronic version of such documents to be sent to the CRO for filing at email@example.com.
It seems that in the current climate things are changing at pace within the CRO and company officers are advised not to assume that the current crisis excuses them of their company law / company filing obligations.
The content of this article is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other advice.