The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland welcomes the Charities (2008 Act) (Commencement No. 4) Order (Northern Ireland) 2013, which came into effect today (24 June 2013).
This Commencement Order includes provisions relating to the establishment and maintenance of a register of charities, which will allow the Charity Commission to begin compulsory registration of all charities operating in Northern Ireland later this year.
It is important to note that registration will not happen overnight. It is estimated that there are between 7,000 and 12,000 charities in Northern Ireland, so this will be a managed process, providing Northern Ireland with a list of registered charities for the first time.
The Order also brings into operation provisions in relation to charity mergers, charity names, application of property cy-près, powers of unincorporated charities and alteration of objects and certain other consents required from the Commission by incorporated charities.
The Commission is currently awaiting new Transitional Orders from the Department for Social Development, which will allow the Commission's guidance, processes and policies around the new provisions to take effect.