CYPRUS 2021. A centralised Register of Beneficial Owners
With the constant strengthening of AML regulation and enhancing transparency around the globe and in compliance with the provisions of the 4th AML European Directive (EU 2015/849) and 5th AML European Directive (EU 2018/843), the Cyprus Council of Ministers on 16th December 2020, has resolved to appoint the Registrar of Companies (“ROC”) as the competent authority to maintain a centralised Register of Beneficial Owners (“UBO”) of companies and other legal entities.
The collection of UBO data will commence on 16th March 2021, and must be fully complied with by 19th July 2021.
An intermediary (i.e. temporary) UBO platform/register has been developed for this purpose. The UBO data collected will be transferred to the final UBO platform/register to be developed by the ROC in the second half of 2021 and access to it will be based on the provisions of the 5th AML European Directive (EU 2018/843).
Access to the intermediary (temporary) UBO platform/register in compliance with the 4th AML European Directive is only available to Competent Authorities upon their request to the ROC, so the intermediary (temporary) UBO platform/register is not available to the public. This is advised to be the case until the end of 2021, at the earliest.
As per Law 13(I)/2018, enacted on 3 April 2018 transposing into Cypriot legislation EU Directive 2015/849, “Competent Authorities” include the following:
➢ The Central Bank of Cyprus;
➢ The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission;
➢ The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus;
➢ The Cyprus Bar Association;
➢ Other competent Regulatory Authorities superintending the operations of regulated professionals in Cyprus;
➢ The Cyprus Unit for Combating Money Laundering (MOKAS);
➢ The Cyprus Customs Department;
➢ The Cyprus Inland Revenue Department, and
➢ The Cyprus Police
Such Competent Authorities shall have unlimited access to the information in the intermediary (temporary) UBO platform/register (in compliance with the 4th AML European Directive) and shall not be informing the legal entities/persons/arrangements in case they do access it. The Competent Authorities may provide the information to the competent authorities of other Member States of the European Union.
For the purposes of the Companies/Entities UBO Register:
➢ “Beneficial Owner” is defined as any natural person that is directly or indirectly the ultimate owner of 25% + 1 share or has the ultimate control or participatory interest of over 25% in the company/entity.
For the purposes of the Trusts (and similar legal arrangements) UBO Register:
➢ “Beneficial Owner” is defined as any natural person that controls the Trust (i.e. the controlling person). This includes the Settlor, the Trustee, the Protector and the Beneficiaries.
➢ With regards to other legal arrangements, a “Beneficial Owner” is defined as any natural person that holds relevant and/or corresponding positions of the Settlor, the Trustee, the Protector and the Beneficiaries, as the case may be.
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