The Federal Public Service Finance (hereafter: FPS Finance) has published Frequently Asked Questions (hereafter: FAQ) to clarify the new Belgian UBO register for the registration of ultimate beneficial owners (hereafter: UBO) of Belgian companies and foundations.
Deadline for registration postponed
Companies and foundations had to register before 1 December 2018, according to the Royal Decree of 30 July 2018 (published in the Belgian Official Gazette on 14 August 2018). The FPS Finance has published a new deadline on the website. According to the website, 31 March 2019 is the final date. However, the FAQ, posted on the same website, refer to another date, i.e. 31 January 2019. This inconsistency causes uncertainty.
Update of information
Companies and foundations have to provide the UBO register with adequate, accurate and current information. Any change must be notified within one month. The accuracy of the information needs to be confirmed annually.
Companies and foundations can mandate an external third party to fulfil the obligation to register.
If a company or foundation is not registered in time and/or the provided information is incorrect or incomplete, fines up to € 50.000 can be due.
The deadline for registration is now uncertain. The FAQ contain additional inconsistencies with the Royal Decree of 30 July 2018, for example with regard to the definition of indirect UBO.
These FAQ create more questions than answers. Clear and consistent guidelines are required.