We would like to inform you that yesterday, 18th February 2021, the Plenary of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus has 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). To that effect, kindly see the Plenary’s Agenda with the relevant statement, publicly accessible at the electronic address http://www.parliament.cy/images/media/redirectfile/20-18022021-ΤΟΠΟΘΕΤΗΣΕΙΣ.pdf
The Amending AML Law of 2021 will come into effect with the publication thereof in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cyprus in the forthcoming days.
The purpose of the Amending AML Law of 2021 is to amend the Republic of Cyprus AML Law so as to secure the harmonisation thereof with the 5th EU AML Directive (Directive (EU) 2018/843), as well as to achieve a more efficient application of certain provisions of Regulation (EU) 2018/1805 which concerns the mutual recognition of freezing orders and confiscation orders.
The Amending AML Law of 2021, amongst other, provides for the operation of the respective Ultimate Beneficial Owners’ (UBOs) Registries regarding Corporate Entities and Trusts.
It is noted that CIBA, with the aid of the legal consultants thereof on this subject matter, has sent a relevant e-mail communication to the House of Representatives’ Committee on Financial and Budgetary Affairs on 17th February 2021, raising CIBA’s legal concerns on the compatibility of the UBOs Registries provisions under the 5th EU AML Directive with EU Primary Law, especially in the light of recent legal developments.
As per the Republic of Cyprus Department of the Registrar and Official Receiver’s Announcements dated 15th January 2021 and 10th February 2021, publicly accessible at the electronic addresses https://www.companies.gov.cy/en/knowledgebase/news/launch-date-for-the-collection-of-the-beneficial-owners-information-of-corporate-and-other-legal-entities and https://www.companies.gov.cy/en/knowledgebase/news/email-address-for-queries-regarding-the-register-of-beneficial-owners , respectively:
- The commencement of the collection of the Beneficial Owners information of corporate and other legal entities, by the Registrar of Companies, has been announced for the 22nd February 2021.
- The Republic of Cyprus Ministry of Energy, Industry and Commerce informs the public that the email address Ubos@meci.gov.cy has been created, where queries regarding the online submission and operation of the Register can be submitted.
- In addition, the public is also informed that a guide regarding the online submission and operation of the Register will also be published concurrently with the commencement of the Register’s operation.
- The public is urged to subscribe to the newsletter of the Companies Section website in order to be immediately informed of any upcoming announcements.
- As per the Department of the Registrar and Official Receiver’s Announcement dated 21st December 2020, publicly accessible at the electronic address https://www.companies.gov.cy/en/knowledgebase/news/1734/?ctype=ar:
- the Company Register will be maintained by the Department of the Registrar of Companies and the Official Receiver pursuant to a Republic of Cyprus Council of Ministers’ Decision dated 16th December 2020,
- the relevant legal entities must submit the information required to an interim system within 6 months as at the updated dated of 22nd February 2021,
- during the said time period, access to the UBO register will be granted solely to the designated competent authorities after the submission of a request before the Department of the Registrar of Companies and the Official Receiver,
- information collected in the interim six-month period will be transferred to the relevant platform, which has not been established as yet, during the second half of year 2021, and
- the Department of the Registrar of Companies and the Official Receiver will revert in due time with further information and the relevant link for the submission of the data concerned.
CIBA will be updating you regarding any developments and will also organise during March 2021 a relevant webinar for CIBA Members.