On the 16th of December 2020 the Council of Ministers, in line with article 57(b) of the “Prevention and Suspension of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Laws of 2007 to 2019” has decided the following:
- To appoint the Registrar of Companies as the competent authority to maintain in Cyprus a centralized register of ultimate beneficial owners of companies and other legal entities.
- To authorize the Registrar of Companies to collect information about the ultimate beneficial owners of companies and other legal entities through the relevant platform developed for this purpose.
Based on the above, the Registrar of Companies announced that collection of the relevant data will commence on 18 January 2021* and must be completed within a period of six months, i.e., until 19 July 2021. Within this period of time, companies and other legal entities should submit on the platform developed by the Registrar of Companies, the information relating to their ultimate beneficial owners. It should be noted, that the platform has been developed as a temporary solution, and access for the time being, will be possible only for competent authorities, and only upon request filed with the Registrar of Companies.
The information collected will be transposed to the final platform to be developed in the second half of 2021 and access to it will be granted in accordance with the provisions of the 5th European Directive (EU 2018/843) of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30th May 2018 concerning the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing.
Companies are urged to commence collecting the mandatory information which must have already been in their possession in accordance with the provisions of section 61(A) of the Anti-Money Laundering Law as amended from time to time. Additionally, such information must also be kept by regulated entities that provide services to companies on the basis of sections 2A(d), 60 and 61 of the abovementioned law as well as on the basis of the law regulating companies providing administrative services.
The Registrar of Companies will revert in due course as regards the link for submitting the requested information and provide further guidance as to the matter.
We will revert with more detailed information regarding the requirements and compliance obligations to register the ultimate beneficial owners, once there are available by the Registrar of Companies.
* The Registrar of Companies announced on 19/02/2021 that the commencement date of collection of data of the ultimate beneficial owners of companies and other legal entities is postponed to 16/03/2021.