On the 18th of June 2021, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (the “CySec”) pursuant to Article 61C of the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Law of 2021 (the “AML Law”) issued a regulation (Regulatory Administrative Act 257/2021) (the “Directive”), identifying the obligations and procedure for the registration, notification, administration, maintenance and update of the information in relation to the Beneficial Owners (the “BOs”) of express trusts and other similar legal arrangements with the electronic system created by CySec (the “System”).
Meaning of BO: as per the AML Law a beneficial owner means any physical person who has the ultimate ownership or control of a legal entity and in relation to trusts includes the following persons:
Information to be filed as to express trusts and other similar legal arrangements
The information that must be submitted in relation to express trusts or other similar legal arrangements in the register is the following:
Information to be filed in relation to BOs as to express trusts and other similar legal arrangements
The information that must be submitted in relation to BOs of express trusts or similar legal arrangement in the register is the following:
Access to the Register
In accordance with the Directive published by CySec, access to the Register is granted to an authorised user which means a natural person who is registered with the Register:
(Collectively referred to as the “Authorised Users”)
*Obliged entities as defined by Section 2A of the AML Law means (i) credit institutions, (ii) financial institutions and (iii) natural or legal persons acting in the exercise of their professional activities which among other include the auditors, external accountants and tax advisors, notaries and other independent legal professionals and company service providers.
The procedure to be followed in relation to the registration of the Authorised Users to the System will be indicated in a guidance to be published by CySec.
A) Access by obliged entities
For the purpose of accessing the register an obliged entity must provide CySec with the following documents:
An obliged entity shall have access to the following information in relation to the BOs of express trust or similar legal arrangement:
B) Access by natural or legal persons with legitimate interest
For the purpose of access to the register by a natural or legal person with a legitimate interest the following shall apply:
C) Access by natural or legal persons with controlling interest
For the purpose of access to the register by a natural or legal person in relation to a trust which holds or owns a controlling interest in a company that is not incorporated in Cyprus upon the written request of the said persons the following shall apply:
In exceptional circumstances, it is possible to provide for exceptions to the access to information in relation to the BOs, in part or in whole, where that information would expose the BOs to a disproportionate risk of fraud, kidnapping, blackmail, extortion, harassment, violence or intimidation or where the BO is a minor or is legally incompetent.
For the purpose of requesting an exception to the access to information in relation to the BOs of the express trust or similar legal arrangement, in part or in whole, the following shall apply:
The trustee of a newly established express trust or other person having an equivalent position to a similar legal arrangement who resides in the Republic of Cyprus has to submit to CySec through the System an application for registration with the register within fifteen (15) days from his appointment.
The trustee of an existing express trust or other person having an equivalent position to a similar legal arrangement who resides in the Republic of Cyprus has to submit to CySec through the System an application for registration with the register within six (6) months from the effective date of the Directive being the date of its publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cyprus i.e., 18th of June 2021.
In the event that a change is made in relation to the BO’s information already filed, the new information must be submitted within fifteen (15) days from the date that the trustee received notice of such change. In the event that the change relates to the trustee, the obligation of notifying such change to CySec lies with the new trustee.
Fees and subscriptions
The trustee or other person having an equivalent position must pay to CySec for the purpose of registration and/or renewal of registration of the express trust or other similar legal arrangement in the register a subscription that will grant access for the period of one (1) year as follows:
The obliged entities that submit an application for accessing the register must pay to CySec a subscription that will grant access for the period of one (1) year as follows:
Natural or legal persons that submit an application for accessing the register and can prove a legitimate interest must pay to CySec a subscription that will grant access to the register for the period of one (1) month as follows:
Natural or legal persons in relation to a trust which holds or owns a controlling interest in a company that is not incorporated in Cyprus upon the written request of the said persons for accessing the register must pay to CySec a subscription that will grant access to the register for the period of one (1) month as follows:
This publication has been prepared as a general guide and for information purposes only. It is not a substitution for professional advice. One must not rely on it without receiving independent advice based on the particular facts of his/her own case. No responsibility can be accepted by the authors or the publishers for any loss occasioned by acting or refraining from acting on the basis of this publication.
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