Compliance and development

The implementation of the EU Directive and the Disclosure of Companies’ Beneficiaries

Haroulla Arkade
By:
As per the requirements of the EU Directive 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2015 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing (4th EU Directive) and article 61A (a) of the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering Activities Laws of 2007-2018, each EU member state is required to maintain a central register of beneficial owners of companies and other legal entities. In particular, of each physical person owning or controlling more than 25 % of the entity.
Contents

Decision of the Council of Ministers

The Council of Ministers, during its meeting on 16/12/2020, on the basis of a relevant proposal of the "Advisory Authority for Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing", which was made pursuant to the provisions of Article 57 (b) of "on Preventing and Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Laws from 2007 to 2019" decided to:

  1. Appoint the Department of Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver, of the Ministry of Energy, Trade and Industry (“the Registrar”), as the competent authority for the maintenance of the central Register of the Real Beneficiaries of companies and other legal entities registered in Cyprus and
  2. Authorise the Registrar to collect information about the real beneficiaries of companies and other legal entities through the intermediary system solution that has been developed.

 

Registrar of Companies system

Based on the above, the Department of the Registrar of Companies announced that the starting date for data collection for companies is 22 February 2021.

From this date, companies will be granted a period of 6 months for recording in the system that has been developed, the information concerning their real beneficiaries.

It is emphasised that the system that has been developed is an intermediary solution and access to it will only be granted to competent authorities, upon relevant request to the Registrar of Companies.

The information collected will be transferred to the final system solution to be developed in the second half of 2021 and access to it will be based on the provisions of the 5th European Directive (EU 2018/843) of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018, concerning the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing.  It is noted that, once developed, it will be open to the general public, obliged entities and competent authorities.