The framework for the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing activities has been strengthened with the establishment of a Beneficial Owners Register for corporate and other legal entities.
The law for the “Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Law of 2021”, was voted by the House of Representatives. The relevant Amendment Law harmonizes and strengthens the national law with the 5th European Directive (EU 2018/843, 30th May 2018), on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing activities. One of the basic provisions of the Amendment Law regards the establishment, maintenance and operation of a Beneficial Owners Register for corporate and other legal entities, by the Registrar of Companies.
The deadline for collection and submission of the UBOs details in the interim system of the Beneficial Ownership Registry is extended to 31st July 2022.
In accordance with the provisions of the relevant AML Law, the Directive issued by the Cyprus Registrar of Companies and the Guidance issued by the Cyprus Registrar of Companies, the “Beneficial Owner” of a company and/or other entity is defined as the natural person who ultimately owns or controls the company, directly or indirectly.
Direct Ownership means any natural person(s) who ultimately owns or controls the customer and/or the natural person(s) on whose behalf a transaction or activity is being conducted and includes, at least a shareholding of 25% + 1 share or an ownership interest of more than 25% in the entity.
Indirect Ownership may be indicated by a shareholding of 25% + 1 share or an ownership interest of more than 25% in the entity held by a corporate entity, which is under the control of a physical person(s), or by multiple corporate entities, which are under the control of the same physical person(s) or through a nominee shareholder (whether physical or corporate) or other legal arrangements.