Three Important Bills Pass In The Nevis Island Assembly

NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (October 06, 2021)- – Three important pieces of legislation were passed unanimously in the Nevis Island Assembly during a sitting at Hamilton House on October 05, 2021. 

Hon. Premier Mark Brantley, Minister of Finance in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), introduced the Nevis International Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2021 on July 13, and moved the second and third readings on Tuesday.

During the debate, Mr. Brantley said the legislation introduces several fundamental changes to the oversight of the Insurance sector to ensure that Nevis keeps apace with international standards and best practices, and that the island moves into the modern age.

“This government is a responsible government and what we have sought to do on every occasion is to learn from best practices as they develop, to consult with the industry from time to time, to hear from organisations such as STEP- Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners- and to speak to the experts. And so from time to time, we will come to introduce new legislation, to repeal and replace, and to amend as necessary as the demands of the market, the demands of the industry, and as changes and best practices develop,” he said.

Hon. Spencer Brand, Minister of Physical Planning and Environment moved the first, second, and third readings of the Nevis Physical Planning and Development Control (Amendment) Bill, 2021, and the Nevis Contractors Registration and Regulation Bill, 2021.

The Nevis Physical Planning and Development Control (Amendment) Bill, 2021, 1) seeks to ensure that the government will be able to provide the statutory basis and establish the necessary practice of acquiring a full project proposal in respect to large development projects on Nevis; 2) broadens the category of documents required as evidence of ownership to include grants of probate and letters of administration; 3) proposes the deadline for submitting an Environmental Impact Assessment in the first instance be up to 12 months or any other such time prescribed by the Director of Physical Planning based on the scope or nature of the project.

The Nevis Contractors Registration and Regulation Bill, 2021 seeks to provide for the registration and regulation of contractors, including the formation of a new post called Construction Commissioner to see to the administration of the process. The legislation also makes provision for the payment of fees on applying for a license, however, the NIA has decided to delay implementation until 2022 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Mr. Brand, the construction industry is one of the most important for supporting employment and economic growth on the island of Nevis and therefore has to be properly regulated to ensure that construction quality is on par with regional and international standards. He said an appropriate legal framework is critical to the growth of this vital sector.

“This piece of legislation will bring this important industry and its activities into sharp focus and improve the construction quality and professionalism going forward,” he said.   

 The Nevis International Banking Bill, 2021, introduced by Premier Brantley, had its first reading in the Assembly during Tuesday’s sitting.

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