Introduction Of Beneficial Ownership Registers In Cyprus
The Cyprus AML Law 188(I)/2007 has recently been amended to introduce into local law, the provisions of the 5th AML Directive 2018/843.
The Law provides for the establishment of two central registers of Beneficial Owners:
- Beneficial Owners of companies and other legal entities (the ‘Companies Central Beneficial Owner Register’);
- Beneficial Owners of express trusts and other legal arrangements (the ‘Trusts Central Beneficial Owners Register’).
The two Registers commenced on 16th March 2021.
The Companies Central Beneficial Owners Register will be maintained by the Registrar of Companies, and the Trusts Central Beneficial Owners Register will be maintained by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).
Each company and its officers must obtain and keep, at the registered office, adequate and current information about the Beneficial Owners. These are defined as individuals (natural persons), who directly or indirectly have an interest of 25% plus one share, of the issued share capital of the company. If no such individuals are identified, the senior management official must be similarly identified.
It is the responsibility of the officers of the company to electronically submit the requested information to the Companies Central Beneficial Owner Register, no later than 6 months after the date of launch of the Companies Central Beneficial Owner Register. As detailed above, the Registers commenced on 16th March 2021.
The Beneficial Owner Register will be accessible by:
- Competent Supervisory Authorities (such as ICPAC and Cyprus Bar Association), the FIU, the Customs Department, the Tax Department and the Police;
- ‘Obliged’ entities e.g. banks and service providers, in the context of conducting due diligence and identification measures for relevant clients. They should have access to; the name, month and year of birth, nationality and country of residence, of the Beneficial Owner and the nature and extent of their interest.
Following the Judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEE) access to the Register of Beneficial Owners for the public is suspended. For more information, see a relevant announcement.
Penalties for Non-compliance
Non-compliance with the obligations can lead to criminal liability and administrative fines of up to €20,000.
How Dixcart Management (Cyprus) Limited can assist. If you or your Cyprus entity are in any way affected by the implementation of the Beneficial Owner Register or would like any additional information, please contact the Dixcart office in Cyprus: email@example.com