Newsletter No. 11 / 08 January 2021

by Nicoletta Vanezou

The meeting of the Council of Ministers of Cyprus, decided on 16th December 2020, the ratification of the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (EU) 2015/849 into Cypriot national law. Specifically, the Council of Ministers introduced the establishment of a Central Registry of Ultimate Beneficial Owners, in accordance with the provisions of the above Directive.

During the said meeting, the appointment of the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver of the Ministry of Energy, Trade, and Industry, was decided, as the competent authority to maintain the said Central Register of Ultimate Beneficial Owners of companies and other legal entities. The Registrar of Companies has also been authorised to collect information relating to the Ultimate Beneficial Owners of its registered companies and other legal entities through a newly introduced interim system which is being developed.

Subsequently to the aforementioned decision of the Council of Ministers, a newsletter was issued by the Registrar of Companies, where it was specified, that the collection of the data for the companies in compliance with the new Directive, will begin on Monday 18th of January 2021.

Moreover, the said newsletter stated, that a six (6) month grace period will be granted to all legal entities registered in Cyprus, in order to comply with the legislative amendments and thus file the requested necessary data to the interim system which was described above. The final date for the filing of the requested date, will be on 19th of July 2021.

The newsletter of the Registrar of Companies, further clarifies, that access to the said interim system will only be available to the competent authorities, and such access will only be granted, subject to a prior request sent to the Registrar of Companies.

Lastly, in the second half of 2021, the final system shall be developed, and all the information gathered, shall be transferred to the said in the second half of 2021. Access to the system will be based on the provisions of the 5th European Directive (EU 2018/843) of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018, concerning the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing.

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