With the increasing need for transparency through Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulation, the Law on the Prevention and Combating of Money Laundering (Amending) Law of 2021 (the “Law”) transposes the 4th EU AML Directive (Directive 2015/849/EU) into Cyprus law. The Law provides for the creation of a Register of Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBO) of companies and other legal entities which will be maintained by the Registrar of Companies in an effort to increase transparency and eradicate money laundering.
The collection of data for the newly created register has commenced on 16.03.2021 through an online electronic platform which will serve as a temporary, transitional solution for a 6-month period. The required information should be submitted within the designated deadlines to avoid penalties for late filing.
The Registrar of Companies has been appointed as the Competent Authority for the maintenance of the UBO Register.
According to the Law, the term Ultimate Beneficial Owner refers to the natural person(s) who has the ultimate ownership or control of a company. For the purposes of disclosure to the UBO Register, a UBO means:
- The natural person who has direct or indirect ownership or control of 25% +1 shares in the company, or exercises in any other way has significant control over the company.
- Where no natural person is identified as owning 25% +1 shares in the company or as having significant control, the company has the obligation to disclose the details of its senior management. In such a case, the Company’s senior manager is obliged to keep records of all actions and transactions completed to enable the identification of the UBO.
During this 6-month transition period, access to the UBO Register will only be granted to Competent Supervisory Authorities, the Financial Intelligence Unit, the Customs Department, the Tax Department and the Police. Following this period, and with the implementation of the 5th EU AML Directive in Cyprus, the UBO register will be available to the public.
For further information and clarifications as to what information needs to be submitted to the UBO register, contact us at email@example.com.