Cyprus will launch a register of beneficiaries in 2020

The Department of Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver (DRCOR) of Cyprus has confirmed previously published information in the media that starting from 2020, the Register of beneficial beneficiaries will be entered into the jurisdiction of the island. This list was created within the framework of the Republic of Cyprus of the EU Directive AML 4, which specifies the rules for tightening the fight against money laundering.

As the Department notes, the registry will be put into operation on January 1st of the next year. The Cypriot authorities will get legal access to the full list of all real owners of companies on the island due to this date. DRCOR also confirms that the registry will not be public, and only authorized persons will receive direct access to the necessary information. Among them are the competent authorities (law enforcement officers, MOKAS agents, tax authorities and regulator representatives), as well as representatives of regulatory authorities (banks, registration agents, registrars and others).

According to the head of the Cyprus Association of Auditors, Maryos Skandalis, the registry is a great idea, but it requires a fairly complete transparency of the formation, strict control criteria and reliability of client database protection.

“As for me, the main question is who will have the right to access information from the registry. When forming this list of persons, it is important not only to organize the work of all the bodies of Cyprus, but also to protect the owners, present and future, from illegal interrogation caused by access to personal data. Therefore, if the list of authorized persons with the right of access to the registry is large enough, this will lead to negative consequences,” said Mr. Skandalis.

Currently, the DRCOR is carrying out technical work on the development and functionality of the future registry. The Department also initiated a number of amendments to the country's legislation. In particular, the regulatory and legal framework of the Republic of Cyprus ACT “About Companies” will be improved and supplemented with clarifications on the operation of the registry.

In the future, the Department plans to expand the registrar by including trusts and trust funds. The Cypriot Securities and Exchange Commission from March 1, 2020 will be responsible for controlling the registration of this type of enterprise.

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