Following on from a previous update on the European Union (Anti-Money Laundering: Beneficial Ownership of Corporate Entities) Regulations 2016, the Department of Finance has confirmed that the deadline for filing a beneficial ownership on a central registry has now been extended to Q4 of 2017.
The Companies Registration Office (“CRO”) advised in May 2017 that the date on which the central register of beneficial ownership (the “Central Register”) was due to be in place and open for filing was 26 June 2017. This was in line with the date on which the 4th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (“4AML”) was due to be fully incorporated into Irish law. CRO has now advised that the Department of Finance has confirmed that because the 4AML is proposed to be amended by the 5th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive, the original date of transposition for the 4AML is no longer achievable. It is now expected that the launch of the Central Register will take place in Q4 of 2017.
Confirmation of the Central Register launch date will be provided in early September. After the Q4 launch date, it is anticipated that there will be an extended period during which companies can file beneficial ownership registers without breaching their statutory duty to file. It is likely that period will extend for at least three months immediately following the date of launch of the Central Register.
Filing will be done through an on-line portal and there will be no paper forms or a filing fee. Details of the website address for the portal will be provided before the Central Register opens for business.
We anticipate further updates on the launch of the Central Register closer to or in September 2017. In the meantime, it is advisable that companies and other corporate entities registered in Ireland continue to compile and maintain internal registers of beneficial ownership. These obligations continue to be in force since the November 2016 enactment of the European Union (Anti-Money Laundering: Beneficial Ownership of Corporate Entities) Regulations 2016.