Madeira Management obtained the first management licence in 1989 and is one of Madeira's leading Management Companies. Our team of twenty legal and accounting professionals, led by Dra Elita Amaral and Dra Suzel Camacho, specialises in making the Madeira International Business Centre accessible to businesses and their professional advisers. Our highly professional team is accustomed to providing international tax practitioners with specialist local advice, and the subsequent implementation of Madeira-based international structures. Our office has particular expertise in company incorporation and ongoing administration, ship registration and management, double tax treaty planning and the use of Madeira's free trade zone. We also provide company incorporation and ongoing administration services to companies operating outside the Madeira International Business Centre. We are able to assist in providing information and assistance in utilising Portugal’s recent Golden Visa scheme or Non Habitual Residents regime, both interesting mechanisms for individuals.

We warmly invite your enquiries
We regularly travel to meet with clients and would welcome the opportunity to meet with you in person, or over the phone, to discuss how we can assist you. For more information about our services, follow the links below.

Dra. Elita Correia Amaral

Contact Us

Madeira Management Cia Lda
Rua dos Murças, nº 15, 1º andar
9000-058 Funchal

T: +351 (291) 201 700
F: +351 (291) 227 144
E: madeira.management@mmcl.pt
W: www.madeira-management.com

Languages Spoken: English, Portuguese, Spanish and French

Time in Madeira is:


Madeira is an autonomous region of Portugal, hence Madeira is part of the European Union. The Madeira landmass encompasses approximately 770 sq km and is located in the Atlantic Ocean, 1,000 km from mainland Portugal and 870 km from North Africa. The topography is mountainous and the highest point is 1,862 metres. The scenery is spectacular and the vegetation diverse.

The population is approximately 265,000 of which 100,000 live in the capital Funchal and are all mainly of Portuguese origin, with a small expatriate British community. Madeira was discovered and colonised by the Portuguese in 1419 and partial political autonomy was eventually granted in 1976. Madeira is represented in Lisbon by five members who are elected by universal suffrage. Portugal has a written constitution, which defines the political structure and the role of the legislature.

The Madeira Regional Parliament is an elected body, which legislates on Madeira interests such as the budget, and its responsibilities are defined in the constitution. The Madeira Government cannot however, overrule decisions made by the Central Government in Lisbon nor override political unity with Portugal.

Madeira has a strong touristic activity and is visited by people from many different nationalities throughout the year. Its mild climate and natural beauty attract thousands every year.

Communications are good; there are many daily flights to and from Lisbon, the Portuguese capital, and Lisbon Airport is an international air transport hub. The flight from Lisbon to Madeira is one hour and thirty minutes. There are also flights from Madeira to other European countries including almost every day direct scheduled flights to London.

Portuguese is the national language; English is taught in schools and is used daily in commerce and international trade. The currency is the Euro, €.

The Madeira International Business Centre (MIBC) was created to promote the economic development of Madeira and is fully approved by the European Union, being considered as a valid form of State aid for regional development.



The Madeira International Business Centre (MIBC) is an established and important international business hub, wholly within Portugal and thus part of the European Union and consists of a Free Trade Industrial Zone, an International Services Centre and an International Shipping Register.

Having been expressly approved by the European Union, the MIBC is certainly a credible and stable location for international operations, providing an extremely competitive low corporate income tax rate of 5%, guaranteed until the end of 2027.

The recently approved Tax Regime IV provides the following main tax benefits:

  1. a reduced corporate tax rate of 5%, guaranteed until 2027;
  2. exemption of withholding tax on dividends paid to non Portuguese resident shareholders (corporate or individuals), as long as these are not resident in a black listed jurisdiction;
  3. No withholding tax on interest and other forms of payment for shareholders' loans, capital allowances or advances made by the shareholders to the company, as long as the shareholders are non-residents in Portugal.
  4. Worldwide participation exemption regime applicable to dividends, reserves, capital gains and losses;
  5. Exemption of withholding tax on royalties, services fees or interest paid to third parties;
  6. Possibility to apply Portugal's recent Patent Box Regime;
  7. Capital gains tax exemption on the sale of participations held in the Madeira company;
  8. Exemption of notarial and registration fees;
  9. 80% reduction on the rate of Stamp Duty, municipal transaction taxes and municipal property taxes;
  10. 80% reduction on regional and municipal surcharges.
To be entitled to these benefits, the licensed companies should comply with one of the following substance requirements:
  1. creation of one to five jobs in the first six months and a minimum investment of €75,000.00 in the acquisition of tangible or intangible fixed assets, during the first two years; or
  2. creation of six or more jobs in the first six months.
Furthermore, the referred reduced tax rates will only apply to certain limits of the annual taxable income, which depend upon the number of employees engaged by the MIBC company in each tax year, as follows:
  • 1 to 2 jobs: € 2,730,000.00;
  • 3 to 5 jobs: € 3,550,000.00;
  • 6 to 30 jobs: € 21,870,000.00;
  • 31 to 50 jobs: € 35,540,000.00;
  • 51 to 100 jobs: € 54,680,000.00;
  • More than 100 jobs: € 205,500,000.00.
The portion of the year's taxable income which exceeds the plafond applicable, taking into account the number of employees engaged by the MIBC company, will be taxed at the general income tax rate applicable in Madeira and which is in 2016 of 21%. A MIBC company can also carry out activities in Portugal, however all income obtained from Portuguese sourced activities will be taxed at the standard corporate income tax rate.

Additionally, a new licensed Regime IV company will also need to ensure that its tax benefit is subject to one of the following additional annual maximum limits:
  • 15,1% of the annual turnover; or
  • 20,1% of the annual gross value added; or
  • 30,1% of annual costs incurred with the workforce.
As referred above, a MIBC company can also apply the worldwide participation exemption regime introduced in 2014 and which provides a full tax exemption on dividends or reserves received by a Portuguese company, under the following conditions:
  • the participation in the subsidiary is equal or superior to 10% and held for at least 12 months (*This was altered with the 2016 State Budget, increasing the participation to 10%, from the previous 5% and reducing the holding period to 1 year, as opposed to the previous 24 months);
  • the entity distributing dividends is NOT located in a black listed jurisdiction;
  • the entity distributing dividends is subject and not exempt to Portuguese income tax (when the subsidiary is located in Portugal), to a tax referred in article 2 of the Parent/Subsidiary Directive (when the subsidiary is located within the EU) or, in other cases, to a tax identical or similar to Portuguese corporate income tax and is subject to a tax rate that is no less than 60% of the normal Portuguese tax rate (i.e. in 2016 no less than 12.6%);
This participation exemption regime is also applied to capital gains or losses resulting from the sale of participations under the conditions mentioned above.

Capital gains derived by non residents from the sale of participations of a Portuguese company continue to be exempt from taxation in Portugal, unless the non resident is domiciled in a black listed jurisdiction or the Portuguese company holds real estate located in Portugal.

A MIBC company can also benefit from the recent Patent Box Regime providing a 50% exemption from corporate tax for companies exploiting patents, industrial designs and models protected by IP rights and registered after 01.01.2014.

The combination of the CIT Code and special tax regime applicable to MIBC companies will result in the income derived from the temporary use of patents and industrial drawings or models being subject to an effective tax rate of 2,5%, in case certain conditions are met.

From a tax perspective, this regime is highly competitive (comparing to other European countries' regimes) and may represent a significant saving, regarding patents and industrial designs or models which are registered in Portugal.

As a Portuguese company, it will also be subject to Portuguese VAT registration, thus benefiting from the rate of VAT in Madeira - currently 22%.

Madeira companies may generally be used for:
  • invoicing and trading operations
  • management services
  • consulting services
  • holding investments
  • holding intellectual property
  • owning commercial and residential properties
  • shipping and yacht registration,
  • Internet delivered services, e-business
  • accessing Portugal's double tax treaty network
  • utilising the EU parent subsidiary directive
At this moment, there are two Tax Regimes in force applicable to Madeira IBC companies, depending on whether they were licensed before the end of 2014 or if they have been licensed under (or chosen to be licensed under) the recently EU approved tax Regime IV, details of which are referred above.

Existing companies, licensed before the end of 2014 continue to benefit from the special regime III also in force, unless they choose to immediately apply Regime IV.

Regime III is similar to the new Regime IV, with the following exceptions:
  • The reduced rate of 5% corporate income tax will be applied until 2020 (at which time the company can decide to move into regime IV);
  • The additional annual maximum limits referred above do not apply;
  • Full exemption from Stamp Duty, municipal transaction taxes and municipal property taxes;
  • There is no specific exemption on distribution of dividends to shareholders of a licensed MIBC company under Regime III. Instead standard Portuguese legislation must be applied, in which case the distribution of dividends to the quota holders can only be made exempt of withholding tax under the following conditions:
    • when payment is made to a corporate EU or EEA shareholder with a direct participation superior to 10% and held for at least one year;
    • when payment is made to foreign corporate shareholders that are in countries that have signed a DTT with Portugal that foresees exchange of information, with a direct participation superior to 10% and held for at least one year and as long as the beneficiary is subject, in its country of residence, to a nominal taxation not inferior to 60% of the Portuguese corporate income tax rate;
    • when payment is made to corporate shareholders resident in Switzerland with a direct participation superior to 25% and held for at least two years.
    Beyond these situations, reductions on the applicable withholding tax can also be obtained through the application of Double Tax Treaties signed by Portugal. In all other cases, a distribution of dividends will be subject to the standard rate of withholding tax, between 25% and 28% (35% in the case of blacklisted jurisdictions).
MMCL's main activity is developed in the Services Sector of the Madeira IBC, in which we incorporate and manage a large number of commercial companies, which benefit from Regime III or IV referred above.

In addition to the establishment and management of a Madeira Company, Madeira Management can provide a registered office address service to clients that require a physical presence in Madeira, as well assistance relating to locating office space, staff and relevant suppliers, providing accounting services, among others.

With regards to employee requirements, please note that we have in-house solutions that can facilitate the compliance with this requisite for a relatively low cost. Further information can be provided on request.


All companies incorporated under the Madeira Free Trade Zone Legislation are subject to the same regulations and principles as any other Portuguese company. The most widely used types of company are:

  1. Private Limited Liability Company ("Limitada")

    The Limitada Company has a minimum paid up share capital of € 2 (€1 in the case of a Unipersonal company). The capital is represented by quotas and the value of each quota can vary, but must not be less than € 100. The minimum number of subscribers is one.
  2. Stock Corporation ("SA")

    Sociedade Anónima ("SA") companies have a minimum paid up share capital requirement of € 50,000. The capital of such companies is represented by shares of a minimum of € 0.01 each. The original subscriber shares must be registered but thereafter bearer shares are permitted. The minimum number of shareholders are normally five, although it is possible to have one sole shareholder.
  3. Pure Holding Company ("SGPS")

    A "SGPS" (Sociedade Gestora de Participacoes Sociais) may be incorporated as either a Limitada company or an SA company with the share capital structure depending on the requirements of the client. A Pure Holding Company is limited to holding investments in other companies and the management of those investments.

Restrictions on Trading

Companies cannot undertake any business that is not specified in their constitution. Companies cannot undertake the business of banking, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, fund management and asset management (other than their own assets) without prior consent and licensing.

Licence Fees

€ 1000 Application Fee and € 1,800 Annual fee. A discount of € 500 on the annual fee is granted to companies managed by a licensed management company.

Financial Statement Requirements

Accounts must be prepared in the Portuguese language in accordance with Portuguese accounting rules. Normally the fiscal year ends on 31st December, and accounts must be approved by the shareholders before the 31st March of the following year. A tax form must be filed with the authorities before the end of May (modelo 22) and another before the 15th of July (IES).


It is normal to appoint two directors to a Limitada and three to a SA. The directors must be natural persons of any nationality and need not be resident in Madeira.


Type of entity Limitada SA
Type of Law Civil Civil
Shelf company availability - -
Our time to establish a new company 15-30 days 15-30 days
Minimum government fees (excluding taxation) EUR 1,800 EUR 1,800
Corporate Taxation 5% 5%
Double taxation treaty access Yes Yes
Liability of Shareholders Limited to the capital Limited to the capital
Share Capital or Equivalent
Standard currency Euro Euro
Permitted currencies None None
Minimum paid up Euro 2 (€1 in the case of a S.U) Euro 50,000
Usual authorised Euro 5,000 Euro 50,000
Directors or Managers
Minimum number 1 1
Local required No No
Publicly accessible records Yes Yes
Location of meetings Anywhere Anywhere
Members / Shareholders
Minimum number Normally 2 (1 is possible) Normally 5 (1 is possible)
Publicly accessible records Yes Yes
Location of meetings Madeira(by proxy) Madeira(by proxy)
Company Secretary
Required No No
Local or qualified No No
Requirement to prepare Yes Yes
Audit requirements No, but larger companies must Yes
Requirement to file accounts Yes Yes
Publicly accessible accounts Yes Yes
Change in domicile permitted Yes Yes


The International Shipping Register of Madeira ("MAR") is a credible alternative to other international registers and yet keeps the technical discipline and safety which characterises conventional shipping registers. It is not and has never been considered as a "flag of convenience".

Portugal's second Shipping Registry, based in Madeira, is known as "MAR" meaning "Sea". All vessels registered under MAR fly the Portuguese flag and all international conventions ratified by Portugal are complied with by MAR. Because MAR registered ships fly the Portuguese flag, they can be used for cabotage (coastal shipping, navigation, trade or transport) in EU countries.

Under the MIBC Legislation, vessels and yachts may be registered at MAR under the Portuguese flag, provided their activities do not amount to transportation of goods between Portuguese ports. Transportation between Portuguese ports and foreign ports is allowed. Fishing boats cannot be registered.

It is possible to register a vessel with MAR that is owned by a non resident entity. In this case, it is compulsory to appoint a local legal representative of the foreign owner and here at MMCL we are able to act in this capacity, as required by law. It is however also possible to set up a Madeira IBC Shipping company, transferring the ownership of the vessel to this entity. In this case, the wide range of tax and financial incentives available to shipping companies duly incorporated and licensed to operate within the legal framework of the MIBC, will apply on income obtained from the activities of the vessel operating outside Portuguese territorial waters.

Madeira Management has extensive experience with the registration of vessels, yachts and the management of shipping companies.

How to register

Certain documents and information regarding the ship must be submitted to the Technical Commission of MAR for analysis.

The information and documentation to be submitted shall vary depending on whether it is a temporary or a permanent registration.


The shipping registry delegates some of its functions and recognises certificates issued by specified classification societies. Among the functions that may be delegated are the supervision and enforcement of rules concerning stability, bulk cargo, on board security, as well as the issuing of international certificates concerning conventions and resolutions of the International Maritime Organisation and the OLO.

Portugal presently recognise eight classification societies who are certified to carry out their functions in the framework of MAR, they are:

  • Lloyd's Register of Shipping (LRS);
  • Bureau Veritas (BV);
  • Det Norske Veritas (DNV);
  • Registro Italiano Navale (RINA);
  • American Bureau of Shipping (ABS);
  • Rinave Portuguesa (RINAVE);
  • Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (NKK).


In assessing crew composition and minimum crew requirements the objective of the registry technical commission is to guarantee safety and the preservation of the quality of life aboard and at sea. The captain and 30% of the crew must be nationals of Europe or of PALOP countries (an organisation of Portuguese Speaking countries). Spanish owned vessels are also authorised to have crew from official Spanish-speaking countries. Crew composition requirements do not apply to yachts.

Any income received by the crew of ships registered in MAR is exempt from any form of taxation in Portugal.

Crew members and their respective employers of ships registered in MAR may adopt a voluntary insurance or social security system. They are not obliged to pay social security taxes within the normal Portuguese system.

Mortage Law

The mortgagor and the mortgagee by written agreement may choose the legal system of a particular country that shall govern the terms of the mortgage. Should such agreement not be reached, then the Portuguese law shall apply.


In the 1980s a deep sea port was constructed at Caniçal, 30 km from Funchal, where only a fishing village had existed before and it was here that an industrial free trade zone was established. The industrial free trade zone now measures some 138 hectares in size. A large number of companies engaged in such diverse activities as foodstuffs, tobacco, metal works and electrical appliances have set up there.

The Industrial Free Trade Zone has been created to receive activities which, by their nature, involve the physical movement of goods. All goods, regardless of their nature, quantity, origin and destination, may be imported into the Zone in order to be stored, repaired or transformed with few formalities, provided they are not a threat to national security or public health.

Madeira's FTZ offers a wide range of both tax and customs incentives which form a unique package, unrivalled by any other Free Trade Zone. Madeira can be of great benefit for non-European companies wishing to penetrate into the EU Single Market more easily, and for European companies aiming at reducing their operational costs and enhancing their tax efficiency.

Besides benefiting from the existing tax regime applicable to a MIBC company, especially the reduced tax rate of 5% until 2027, manufacturing companies in the Industrial Free Trade Zone may also benefit from a 50% reduction on the taxable income, when fulfilling two of the following criteria:

  • Contribution to the modernization of the economy through technical innovation, new products and procedures;
  • Diversification of the regional economy by introducing new activities of added value;
  • Fixation of qualified human resources;
  • Contribution to the improvement of the environment;
  • Creation of 15 jobs for a period of 5 years.
In addition, Madeira's FTZ has other characteristics which, in some cases, may also become important competitive factors:
  • The islands' geographical location, with speedy access tothe European, African, and American markets.
  • Political and economic stability
  • Modern telecommunications
  • An excellent climate without great temperature variations throughout the year


Patent Box Regime

New Patent Box Regime providing a 50% exemption from corporate tax for companies exploiting patents, industrial designs and models protected by IP rights and registered after 01.01.2014

The 2014 State Budget and the CIT Reform made some changes to the tax benefits which are applicable to all Portuguese companies, including those licensed to operate as MIBC companies. Since 1 January 2014, if all the requirements are met, only 50% of the income arising from the temporary use of patents and industrial drawings or models is relevant for the computation of the taxable income.

The combination of the CIT Code and special tax regime applicable to MIBC companies will result in the income derived from the temporary use of patents and industrial drawings or models being subject to an effective tax rate of 2,5%, in case certain conditions are met. From a tax perspective, this regime is highly competitive (comparing to other European countries' regimes) and may represent a significant saving, regarding patents and industrial designs or models which are registered in Portugal.


Portugal has established a regime for non-habitual tax resident individuals, which is intended to attract to Portugal certain qualified individuals and investments.

This special tax regime is applicable to individuals who have not been considered and taxed as tax residents in Portugal in any of the previous 5 years.

The regime establishes that employment and self-employment domestic (Portuguese) income, related to certain "high added-value" activities of a scientific, artistic or technical nature (included in a list of activities published by the Portuguese Government), will be taxed at a flat rate of 20%.

Furthermore, the regime also establishes a tax exemption for foreign-sourced income, such as, employment income, self-employment income, rental income, interest, dividends as well as other investment income and pension income, under certain specific conditions.

The regime is applicable for a period of ten consecutive years.

Madeira Management can provide advice and assistance to all individuals interested in obtaining further information on this scheme.


Aiming to promote direct foreign investment into Portugal, the government has created the so called "Golden Visa" Residence Program.

Foreign investors in Portugal, from non-EU countries, may be eligible for a special visa, enabling them and their immediate family to work or study legally in the country and to travel within the Schengen area, provided that certain minimum amounts are invested.

The investment must be maintained for a minimum period of 5 years. After this initial period, the investor may immediately apply for a permanent residency permit.

The investment can be made in three different manners:
  • Capital transfer with a minimum value of 1 million Euro (e.g. bank deposit, acquisition of financial assets)
  • The acquisition of real estate for a minimum amount of 500,000 Euro
  • Creation of 10 jobs
In July 2015 new rules were introduced to extend the investment possibilities, which now also include the following:
  • Investment of a minimum of € 350,000 in a project relating to cultural or scientific research
  • Purchase of a property plus rebuilding or renewals costs totalling a minimum of € 500,000 in certain conditions
  • Investments in a property in a region with a low population density, reducing the minimum investment to € 400,000
Madeira Management can provide advice and assistance to all individuals interested in obtaining further information on this scheme.


Madeira Management's qualified and experienced multilingual staff will be happy to assist you with your business requirements. We provide a full range of business consulting and business support services, taking a pro-active approach in identifying new products and solutions to offer our clients, whilst ensuring complete discretion, confidentiality and a professional, personalised service at all times.

We invite you to contact our Madeira office to discuss your requirements and to identify how Madeira Management can help you to do business better.

  • Established in 1989
  • Licensed as an authorised management company by SDM - Sociedade de Desenvolvimento da Madeira, the concessionaire of the Madeira International Business Centre
  • One of Madeira's leading management companies
  • Employs 20 legal and accounting multilingual professionals
  • Provides specialist local advice and services for tax practitioners and their clients
  • Provides business introductions and services relating to companies looking to establish a physical presence in Madeira
  • Provides ship and yacht registration services and ongoing management regarding vessels registered with MAR - the Madeira Shipping Register
  • Provides advice and assistance offered to industrial companies looking to set up an industrial project in the Industrial Zone of the Madeira IBC to benefit from various tax advantages
  • Incorporation, structuring, and administration of Madeira companies set up within the Services Sector of the Madeira International Business Centre
  • Registration of vessels, yachts and ships
  • Management of shipping companies
  • Specialist advice regarding the use of Madeira's Industrial Free Trade Zone
  • Day-to-day company administration including opening and operating bank accounts, issuing invoices, VAT management, accounting and bookkeeping services
  • Advice and structuring required for individuals who wish to take use of Portugal's Golden
  • Visa scheme or Non Habitual Residents regime, both interesting mechanisms for individuals.


In case of consumer litigation, the consumer may apply to the following entity responsible for alternative resolution of consumer litigations:

Centre de Arbitragem de Conflitos de Consumo da Região Autónoma da Madeira


Our team of twenty legal and accounting professionals, is led by Dra Elita Amaral and Dra Suzel Camacho and specialises in making the Madeira International Business Centre accessible to businesses and their professional advisers. We would welcome the opportunity of being able to assist you or your client with your corporate structuring or personal wealth management.
Please feel free to contact any of our key team members listed below for an initial explanatory discussion without obligation.

Dra. Elita Correia Amaral - DIRECTOR / LEGAL COUNSEL

Elita Amaral was educated in the UK and is a law graduate from the University of Lisbon where she also took a postgraduate degree in European Studies. Having started out as a legal counsel to Madeira Management, Elita was appointed director in 1995.

T: +351 291 201 700
F: +351 291 227 144
E: elitaamaral@mmcl.pt
Dra. Maria Súzel Freitas Camacho - DIRECTOR / LEGAL COUNSEL

Súzel Camacho is a law graduate from the University of Lisbon. Having started out as a legal counsel to Madeira Management, Súzel was appointed as a director in 1995, and is now responsible for matters relating to shipping and a portfolio of clients.

T: +351 291 201 700
F: +351 291 227 144
E: suzelcamacho@mmcl.pt


Download the following PDF documents for reference:


Madeira Enquiry Form Madeira Fact Sheet General Overview of Madeira
Madeira Order Form Types of Madeira Companies List of Tax Treaties
Interactive PDF List of Tax Havens
Visit our Offshore Knowledge Base on ocra.com for information on over 90 other key jurisdictions




Email us your requirements and receive a Free Explanation or call +351 291 201 700.

One of our consultants will contact you directly to assist you with your requirements.

Please Note:
Completed Questionnaires and Order Forms should be sent to madeira.management@mmcl.pt


Download the relevant questionnaire below if this is the first time you are applying for our services:

Madeira Enquiry Form


Download the relevant Order Form below if you are an existing client with a repeat order, an intermediary, or if you have a detailed understanding of your requirements. You may also wish to download our Shelf List at the same time:

Madeira Order Form
Interactive PDF
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Madeira Management Cia Lda
Rua dos Murças, nº 15, 1º andar
9000-058 Funchal

T: +351 (291) 201 700
F: +351 (291) 227 144
E: madeira.management@mmcl.pt

Languages Spoken: English, Portuguese, Spanish and French

Time in Madeira is:

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