Government of Cyprus launches UBO Register
The Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) of a company is defined as any entity or individual that acts as shareholder in a company, and exercises the rights of an owner. On December 16th, 2020, the Government of Cyprus adapted the EU 4th AML Directive into national law. This requires the formation and publication of a UBO register.
Nicosia, Cyprus: 16 December 2020
The responsible authority for the UBO register is the Cyprus Registrar of Companies. Data collection will start from January 2021 to confirm the shareholders and UBOs of all Cypriot companies. This information will be consolidated in a UBO Register.
The obligation of all EU Member States to maintain a UBO Register stems from the Fourth European Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2015 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing (the 4th AML Directive).
Access to the UBO Register may be public or may be restricted to competent authorities from other Member States.
We note that ownership searches are already possible on the Cyprus Registrar of Companies as well as from various private databases. We assume that one way or another, UBO ownership will be public knowledge.
We also note that the practice of nominee shareholders has not been affected in terms of public knowledge, but will now be accompanied by the UBO Register.
Shareholders of Cypriot companies using nominees should be aware that qualified authorities will now have full access to UBO information, at least for UBOs registered in the Member States.
Contact Us for further information.