Beneficial Ownership Register of Express Trusts and Similar Legal Arrangements
As of the 17th of May 2022, the Cyprus Security and Exchange Commission (“CySEC”) has commenced the operation of an online platform for the Cyprus Beneficial Ownership Register of Express Trusts and Similar Legal Arrangements (the “CyTBOR”/The “Register”), under the legal framework of section 61C of the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Law of 2007 as amended (the “AML/CFT Law”), and the Directive on the Register of Beneficial Owners of Express Trusts and Similar Legal Arrangements (the “Directive”). Further information can be found in the Q&A and User Manuals of CySec.
Access to CyTBOR will only be available to the following:
1. Trustees of express trusts or any person holding an equivalent position in a similar legal arrangement, as per the provisions of the AM/CFT Law (Sections 61C(5)(b)(i) and 61C(5)(b)(ii)), who are obliged to provide the information set out in the Directive (paragraphs 5(3),(4) and (6)).
2. Trustees of existing express trusts or any person holding an equivalent position in a similar legal arrangement, as per the provisions of the Directive (paragraph 6), who are obliged to provide the information set out in the Directive (paragraphs 5(3),(4) and (6)) the soonest possible.
Express trusts and similar legal arrangements may be exempt from registering with CyTBOR (Section 61C(5)(c) of the AML/CFT Law), if they provide one of the following to CyTBOR:
1. Certificate of proof of registration in a register by another Member State (established under article 31(3a) of the EU Directive)
2. Excerpt of the beneficial ownership information held in a register by another Member State (established under article 31(3a) of the EU Directive)
As of the 17th of June 2022, the following will also have access to CyTBOR:
1. The competent Supervisory Authority, the MOKAS, the Customs Department, the Taxation Department and the Police with no restrictions
2. The obliged entities, as part of their customer due diligence and identification procedures, as set out in articles 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64 and 67 of the AML/CFT Law
3. Any natural or legal person, that, upon a request to CySEC can demonstrate legitimate interest. In such case, this person can access limited information about the beneficial owners such as the name, month and year of birth and the type and extent of the rights they hold in the Express Trust or Similar Legal Arrangement.
It should also be noted that, “legitimate interest” should be satisfactorily demonstrated when the applicant shows that the interest is exclusively relevant and contributes to combat money laundering and terrorism financing based on data and information, including data and information of previous activities and actions taken in this direction, and is decided by CySEC on a case by case basis.
4. Any natural or legal person, that submits a written request to CySEC related to an Express Trust or Similar Legal Arrangement which has controlling interest in a company or other legal entity, through direct or indirect ownership, or shares in the bearer, or through control via other means, excluding participation in a company or other legal entity referred in article 61A(1) and 61B(1) of the AML/CFT Law or that have been incorporated in another Member State.
It should be noted that the natural or legal person will only have access to the name, month and year of birth, country of residence and nationality of the beneficial owners and the type and extent of the rights they hold in the Express Trust or Similar Legal Arrangement.
*DISCLAIMER: This article and its publication are intended to provide a brief introduction and act as a general guide. This is provided for information purposes only and cannot be utilized as a substitute for professional advice. This document does not represent a legal opinion and one must not rely on it without receiving independent advice based on the particular facts of its own case. No responsibility is accepted by the author or the publishers for any loss suffered from acting or refraining from acting based on the contents of this publication.
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