The Legal framework for the prevention and suppression of money laundering is strengthened by the creation of the Ultimate Beneficial Owners’ (UBOs) Register.
On the 18th February 2021 the Cyprus Parliament voted in favour of the enactment of the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering Activities (Amending) Law of 2021 (the Amending AML Law of 2021).
The Ministry of Energy, Trade and Industry welcomes such vote by the Cyprus Parliament for the amendment of the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering Activities Law (the “Law”).
The new provisions of the Law, deriving from the 5th European Directive (EU 2018/843, 30th May 2018), harmonize and strengthen the existing legal framework for preventing and combating money laundering and terrorist financing. One of the basic provisions of the Law concerns the maintenance
and operation of a Register of Ultimate Beneficial Owners’ (UBOs) of Companies and other Legal Entities by the Registrar of Companies.
In addition to the UBOs Registries, the 5th EU AML Directive 2018/843:
- extends the scope to virtual currency platforms and wallet providers, tax related services and traders of art;
- obliges Member States to create a list of national public offices and functions that qualify as Politically Exposed (PEP);
- introduces strict Enhanced Due Diligence measures for financial flows from high-risk third countries;
- ends the anonymity of bank and savings accounts, as well as safe deposit boxes and creates central access mechanisms to bank account and safe deposit boxes holder information throughout the EU;
- makes information on real estate holders centrally available to public authorities;
- lowers thresholds for identifying purchasers of prepaid cards and for the use of emoney;
- further enhances the powers of the Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) and facilitates cooperation and information exchange among authorities.
Data collection of Ultimate Beneficial Owners’ information comes into effect as of 16th March 2021. Within the next few days, the Registrar of Companies intends to issue its first Guideline regarding the maintenance and operation of the Beneficial Owners’ Register. In addition, the Registrar of Companies
will issue a Manual regarding the operation of the system that was developed for this purpose.
In case you have any queries or need assistance in implementing any of the above provisions contact us on [email protected].