The first Curaçao cooperatives regulation dates back to 1920. The National Ordinance regarding cooperative was published on February 13, 1920 and entered into force on March 19, 1920. Several amendments have since been made. Effective as of March 1, 2004 the laws regarding all private legal entities, including the cooperatives have been modernized and included into Book 2 of the Civil Code. Book 2 of the Civil Code was last updated and published on the 15th of December 2011 in the Official Gazette of the year 2011 number 66. Pursuant to the Official Gazette of the year 2011 number 69 this national ordinance became effective as of January 1, 2012.
After government consultation with cooperatives, it may be concluded that the cooperatives would prefer for Curaçao to have one single national ordinance that regulates all that there is regarding cooperatives, including the principles of cooperatives. Pursuant to these requests the government has included in its cooperative policy that it shall look further into this matter and implement where possible the necessary changes.
Key recommendations for improvement
- Create a policy or amendment of the National Ordinance on the Supervision of Banking and Credit Institutions
- Support the emergence of new cooperatives in different sectors.
- Take as soon as possible a decision regarding the amendment of the Profit Tax Law to include an exemption for cooperatives from Profit Tax Law.
- Promote corporate governance within the cooperatives and provide education and training to pre-formation cooperatives and cooperatives in general on the importance of complying with the cooperative legislative provisions.
Some countries have a law in which everything with regard to cooperatives is regulated. This is not the case in Curaçao, we do not have one single specific law that regulates everything regarding cooperatives, including for example the taxation aspects, but we do have provisions in Book 2 of the Civil Code regarding cooperatives. If you are looking for the same extensive provisions as in some other countries, you will not find all provisions either. However, we do have a legal system in which much can be arranged within the cooperatives.