What is the Ultimate Beneficial Owner register?
The Ultimate Beneficial Owner (“UBO”) register is a national database containing information regarding UBOs. The implementation of the UBO register is a requirement under the 4th AML Directive (Directive 2015/849).
Cyprus implemented the UBO register by designating the Department of Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver (the “Registrar”) as the competent authority for maintaining the UBO register. According to the announcement issued by the Registrar, the deadline for submitting information in relation to UBOs for the Cypriot UBO register is on 23 August 2021.
In our previous article titled Cyprus Beneficial Ownership Register and other highlights of the amendments the 5th AMLD, we discussed about some of the main features of the 5th AML Directive (Directive 2018/843). In this article, we are discussing the implementation of the UBO register following the announcement issued by the Registrar and the deadlines for submission of the relevant information, as well as who will have access to this register.
On 16 December 2020, the Council of Ministers designated the Registrar as the competent authority for the maintenance of the UBO register. The Registrar will collect the information on UBOs and maintain this information in the UBO register. The collection of information for the UBO register will commence on 22 February 2021.
Who is affected?
The changes affect all companies registered in Cyprus and all UBOs of such companies whose information will be communicated to the Registrar and placed in the UBO register. A UBO is any natural person with ultimately ownership or control and/or a natural person on whose behalf a transaction or activity is being conducted. In the case of corporate entities, a UBO is the person who owns or controls a corporate entity through direct or indirect ownership through shares, voting rights, ownership interest or through control via other means. An indication of direct shareholding shall be a shareholding of 25% plus one share.
Who will have access to the UBO register?
The following will have access to the information included in the UBO register:
- The competent Supervisory Authority, the Unit, the Customs and Excise Department, the Inland Revenue and the Police without any restrictions;
- the obliged entities, within the framework of applying customer due diligence measures;
- a person or organisation which can demonstrate a legitimate interest.
Deadline for submitting information
The time period within which the information must be sent to the Registrar is 6 months from 22 February 2021, therefore the effective deadline is on 23 August 2021. The Registrar urged companies to start collecting information for the UBO register that should already be in their possession in accordance with their due diligence obligations under the AML Law.
The Registrar announced that more information and a relevant link for submitting such information will be provided in due course.
Following the implementation of the UBO register, Cyprus and the other Member States will ensure that the information in their national UBO registers is available through a system that interconnects the UBO registers of all Member States in compliance with the 5th AML Directive.
- Cyprus introduces a national register for UBOs;
- The Registrar is responsible for maintaining the UBO register;
- Collection of information on the UBOs commences on 22 February 2021;
- The deadline for providing information on UBOs is 23 August 2021;
- Under the 5th AML Directive, national UBO registers of Member States will be interconnected.
How can we help?
We can help you with your due diligence and the identification and collection of information required by the Registrar for the UBO register. Our team is ready to help you with your compliance obligations and provide consultation services for strengthening your compliance practice.
Our team can assist you with:
- organising and collecting the information required by the Registrar;
- maintaining your company’s records in good order through our secretarial services;
- complying with your AML obligations;
- creating affective policies and procedures;
- conducting a compliance audit;
- providing tailored training to your employees, board of directors and compliance officers.
Feel free to get in touch with us for a free complementary consultation.
The information provided in this article is for general information purposes only. You should always seek for professional advice suitable to your needs.