The Dutch UBO register is a public register containing certain personal data of the ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs) of Dutch companies, other legal entities and partnerships (Obligated Persons).

In the Netherlands, in conformity with the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, part of the UBO information is publicly accessible.

Court of Justice ruling

On 22 November 2022, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) concluded that the prescribed public and general accessibility of the UBO register is invalid. The CJEU considered the interference of the rights to privacy and data protection by the publicly available UBO register is neither limited to what is strictly necessary nor proportionate to the objective purposed.

Implications for Dutch UBO registers

Based on this ruling it is no longer opportune to keep UBO information publicly accessible in the Netherlands. In response, the Dutch Chamber of Commerce has therefore closed the UBO register for the public for the time being. It is now up to the legislator to ensure that the UBO register can me made accessible to a select group, such as administrative bodies and certain professionals (civil law notaries and lawyers).

Obligated Persons will continue to have an obligation to submit their UBOs. Civil law notaries and lawyers will also continue to be obliged to check their clients on their UBO registration and only continue their services after the UBO registrations have appeared to be filed. For as long as the UBO register is non-accessible, no extracts from the UBO register will be available either. If banks or other service providers require UBO information, some shareholding can still be demonstrated through an extract from the trade register.