The European Union (Anti-Money Laundering: Beneficial Ownership of Corporate Entities) Regulations 2019 (the 2019 Regulations) came into force on 22 March 2019, save for Part 3. Part 3 concerns the new Central Register of Beneficial Ownership. It will become operative on 22 June 2019.

The existing regulations in this area, the European Union (Anti-Money Laundering: Beneficial Ownership of Corporate Entities) Regulations 2016 (the 2016 Regulations), are revoked as of 22 March 2019.

The purpose of the 2019 Regulations is to bring Ireland's beneficial ownership regulations in line with the Fourth Money Laundering Directive (4MLD) as amended by the Fifth Money Laundering Directive (5MLD).

At a glance

  • Enhanced information on beneficial owners required to be collected (including PPS numbers)
  • Significantly increased penalties for non-compliance
  • New obligation on corporates to furnish beneficial ownership information to "designated persons" (as defined under AML legislation) when forming a business relationship or entering into an occasional transaction
  • New Central Register of Beneficial Ownership of Companies and Industrial and Provident Societies (Central Register) to be created as of 22 June 2019
  • A registrar will be appointed to oversee the Central Register; likely to be the Registrar of Companies
  • Corporates in existence before 22 June 2019 must deliver their beneficial ownership information to the Registrar by 22 November 2019
  • Corporates coming into existence after 22 June 2109 must deliver their beneficial ownership information to the Registrar within 5 months of incorporation
  • Changes to the beneficial ownership information must be updated on the Central Register within 14 days
  • The public may access the Central Register but access will be restricted to certain content (PPS numbers and residential addresses will not be provided to the public)
  • Further obligations on designated persons - must consult the Central Register and report any discrepancies

A detailed publication will follow in the coming days.