Another tool to further equip the fight against Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism
Updated: Nov 17, 2021
The UBO Register of Cyprus 2021: Another tool to further equip the fight against Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism, by enhancing transparency.
In line with the ongoing global chain of reforms, aimed at preventing money laundering and terrorist financing, the Government of Cyprus has taken further steps to increase transparency in all transactions taking place within the country. Following certain malpractices, the enactment of the Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (the "UBO") registry could be proactively used as a tool to combat corruption allowing the authorities and other Financial Providers to further investigate and uncover possible abuse of the economy, against public interest.
Following the verdict of the Council of Ministers on the 16th of December, 2020, to transpose the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (the Directive (EU) 2015/849 as amended) at a national level, the central registry of UBO(s) has been implemented with the decision to:
Appoint the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver (the “RoC”) as the competent authority for the maintenance of the central register of ultimate beneficial owners of Legal Entities; and
Authorize the RoC to collect information about the ultimate beneficial owners and other legal entities through the interim system that has been developed.
The Directive (Κ.Δ.Π. 112/2021) for the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering from Illegal Activities Laws of 2007 to 2021 pursuant to Article 61A, enacts the operation of the register of beneficial owner of corporate and other legal entities.
The filling will be effected through ARIADNI Portal.
In accordance with Article 17(2), a legal entity as well as its officers, must take all appropriate measures and obtain their login details through the ARIADNI Portal, in order to be allowed access to the electronic registration system of the UBO(s).
Types of information that shall be recorded, maintained, stored and updated by the legal entity and its officials in its internal UBO registry and/or submitted to the Central UBO Registry:
name, surname, date of birth, nationality and address of residence of each of its beneficial owners,
the nature and extent of the final ownership status held directly or indirectly by each beneficial owner, including a percentage of shares, voting rights or through a significant influence of a person or the type and extent of the final control that is exercised directly or indirectly by each beneficial owner,
the identity document number of the natural person, the type of the document and the country of issue of the document,
the date on which the natural person became the beneficial owner; and
the date on which there were changes in the data of the natural person; or ceased to be a beneficial owner.
It is understood that in case, after exhausting all possible means and provided that there are no reasonable suspicions, no natural person has been identified as the true beneficiary or if there is any doubt that the person identified is the actual beneficiary, then data will be acquired and held by the legal entity, as per the points under (1) to and (5) above, regarding the natural person holding a senior management position.
Filing with the RoC - Timing
Under Article 8(1), a legal entity incorporated or registered before the 16th of March 2021 will have a period of 6 months, to the 16th of September 2021, to submit the relevant data to the UBO registry.
In accordance with Article 9(1), Legal Entities which will be incorporated or registered on or after the 16th of March 2021, must, no later that 30 days, from the date of their registration, file electronically the relevant data to the UBO registry.
In line with Article 10(3), during the period from 1st to 31st of December of each calendar year, an Entity must confirm electronically, to the RoC its UBO(s).
Changes of the UBO(s)
As per Article 6(3), the UBO has the obligation to notify the Company for any changes within 15 days from the date of the change or from the date that thy would reasonably conclude that the change was made.
In fulfilment of Article 10 (1) & (2) - In case of change in the information of the UBO, an entity and its officers must, within 14 days from the notification date of the UBO, file into the UBO register the information regarding the new UBO or the change on the details of an existing UBO.
Penalties for Non-Compliance
No penalties will be imposed during the period of 6 months commencing from the 16th of March 2021.
Accordant with Article 11(2) - Penalties are imposed both on the Company and its officers: €200 Fixed Fee plus €100 per additional day for non-compliance with a cap of €20,000.
The implementation of these regulations is a sure sign that Cyprus is aiming high on transparency, to create a solid and trustworthy business environment on which existing and new coming businesses can rely on. Through its steps forward, Cyprus could inculcate confidence even further and become a preferred destination for productive business activity.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our team of professionals, to provide you with more information and assistance.