On 18/02/2021 the Cyprus House of Representatives has enacted the amending law on the Prevention and Suppression of Money laundering and Terrorist Financing Law of 2021 (the “AML Law”) transposing at a national level the 5th Anti-Money Laundering EU Directive 2018/843 (the “AMLD”) which imposes minimum standards to the Member States for the prevention of the flow of illicit funds and terrorist financing activities.
Under the implementation of the AMLD at a national level, it has been decided to establish central registries of ultimate beneficial owners (the “UBOs”) which are set to contain information on the physical persons who ultimately own or control companies or other legal entities, legal bodies, trusts or other legal arrangements.
In accordance with the provisions of the AML Law, the following registers as to ultimate beneficial owners must be established:
the Central Registry of real Beneficiaries of Companies and other legal entities; the Central Registry of real Beneficiaries of legal bodies; the Register of express trusts and similar legal arrangements.
A. ULTIMATE BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP REGISTERS
As per the AML Law, a ‘UBO’ means any physical person who ultimately owns or controls a legal entity through direct or indirect shareholding ownership of 25 per cent (25%) plus one share.
The Central Registry of real Beneficiaries of Companies and other Legal Entities
Companies and other legal entities that have been incorporated in the Republic of Cyprus must ensure that adequate, accurate and current information on their UBOs, including the name, date of birth, nationality, country of residence and extent of the interest held, are kept in their records and submitted to the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver in Cyprus.
The Central Registry of real Beneficiaries of Companies and other legal entities will be maintained by the Registrar of Companies and the following persons shall have access to this Registry:
The responsible Supervisory Authority, as defined by Section 59 of the AML Law, the Unit for Combating Money Laundering (the “Unit”), Police, Customs and Excise Department and Tax Department without any limitations; Obliged entities* in the context of customer due diligence; and
The public that will have access ONLY to the following information of the UBO: name