Cyprus Registers of Ultimate Beneficial Owners
Cyprus incorporated the rules of the 5th AML Directive into domestic law on February 2021. This creates central registers of ultimate beneficial owners.
Two kind of registers have been established in Cyprus:
- the Register of Beneficial Owners of Companies; and
- the Register of Beneficial Owners of Express Trusts and similar arrangements.
The Registrar of Companies is in charge of the Companies Register. A letter outlining the necessary information has already been sent to affected clients. The deadline for submitting information is March 12, 2022. The information in this Companies Register is open to the public, which implies that anybody can request access to some limited information. This comprises the ultimate beneficial shareholder(s)’ first name, month and year of birth, nationality, and country of residence.
The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission is in charge of the Trusts Register. The details of the settlor, the trustees, the beneficiaries, and the protector were supplied in relation to trusts (if any). This information is not available to the general public and is only available under limited conditions to relevant authorities and obliged entities. Certain Trust-related information may be made available to a person upon request only if the person requesting the information can establish that they have a “legitimate interest” in obtaining the information.
Companies held by Trusts
A Cyprus company held by a Trust (Cyprus or foreign) will disclose in the Companies’ Register, as ultimate beneficial shareholder, the name of the Trust, its jurisdiction and the beneficial interest held only.
The names of the Trust, trustees, Protector, and beneficiaries must be entered at the Trusts Register level, and only if the trustees are Cyprus residents or non-EU citizens. As previously stated, a member of the public who wishes to access information contained within the Trusts Register (which is a closed Register) must demonstrate ‘legitimate interest.’
For more information please contact us.