Article 30 of the 4th European Directive (EU) 2015/849 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering or terrorist financing requires Member States of the European Union to incorporate provisions in their national law concerning information on the beneficial owner of corporate and other legal entities.
Based on the 4th European Directive (EU) 2015/849, Article 3 (6), "beneficial owner" means any natural person or persons ultimately holding or controlling the customer and/or the natural person(s) on whose behalf a transaction or activity is carried out and shall include at least:
1. Regarding Companies
- the natural person or persons ultimately owning or controlling a legal entity which is directly or indirectly owned by a sufficient percentage of the shares or voting rights or ownership interest of that entity, including inter alia bearer shares, or by control in other means than a listed company, on a regulated market which is subject to disclosure requirements under Union law or subject to equivalent international standards which ensure adequate transparency of the information regarding the ultimate beneficial owner.
Participation of 25% plus one share or ownership right over 25% to the client held by an individual is an indication of direct ownership. Participation of 25% plus one share or ownership right over 25% to a client held by a company under the control of a natural person or persons or by several companies under the control of the same natural person or persons is an indication of indirect ownership. This is without prejudice to the right of Member States to decide that a smaller percentage may be an indication of ownership or control. Control by other means can be verified, inter alia, on the basis of the criteria set out in Article 22 (1) to (5) of Directive 2013/34 / EU of the European Parliament and of the Council (3).
- if, once all possible means have been exhausted and provided that there are no reasonable grounds for suspecting, no person is identified under point (a) or if there is doubt that the person or persons identified is/are the beneficial owner(s), the natural person(s) who hold positions or positions of senior management; the entities responsible keep records of the actions undertaken to identify the beneficial owner under point (a) and this point;
The amendment of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Money Laundering Law 2007 (Law 188 (I) / 2007) resulted from the 2015 Directive (EU) 2015/849 of 2015. The law was passed in April 2018 (Amending) Law 2018 (N.13 (I) / 2018) and includes a new provision (Article 61a of Law 188 (I) / 2007) for the establishment and maintenance of a register of beneficial owners of corporate and other legal entities. Following the 5th European Directive (EU) 2018/843 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive (EU) 2015/849 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering or terrorist financing, and amending Directives 2009/138 / EC and 2013/36 / EU. Given the need to urgently implement measures taken to strengthen the Union's regime established for the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, and bearing in mind the commitments made by Member States for the rapid transposition of Directive (EU) 2015/849 into national law, the amendments to Directive (EU) 2015/849 should be included to the national law by 10 January 2020. Member States should set up registries of beneficial owners for corporate and other legal entities by 10 January 2020. Central registers should be interconnected through the European Central Platform by 10 March 2021 (BRIS).
As a result of this, the Department of The Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver will create and maintain the register of corporate and other legal entities. Within this framework, the amendment of the Companies Law is planned to include relevant provision for the register of corporate and other legal entities, as well as the development of relevant regulations in cooperation with the other interested parties. Simultaneously, the Department proceeds with the appropriate actions regarding its computerised system.
Information on the European Directives and the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering Activities Law 2007 (Law 188 (I) / 2007) - Consolidated Law, you can find on the following websites:
- 4th European Directive - https://eurlex.europa.eu/legal-content/EL/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32015L0849
- 5th European Directive - https://eurlex.europa.eu/legal-content/EL/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32018L0843
- 4th and 5th European Directives (Consolidated) - https://eurlex.europa.eu/legal-content/EL/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:02015L0849-20180709&from=GA
- The Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering Activities Law of 2007 (I (consolidated) 188 (I) / 20072018), Unified Law Text - http://www.cylaw.org/nomoi/enop/non-ind/2007_1_188/full.html
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Further information will be given in future announcements by the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver.