Establishment of the Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) Register in Cyprus

Published on July 1, 2021
The requirement for the establishment of the Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) Register.
The requirement for the establishment of the Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) Register, originally emanated from the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (EU) 2015/894), which was transposed into national legislation on the 3rd day of April 2018 through the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Law (13(I)/2018). In particular, article 61A (4)(a) of the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Law (13(I)/2018) provided for the introduction of the UBO Register.The 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (EU) 2018/843), which amended the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive and provided for the launch of publicly accessible registers of beneficial ownership of companies and other legal entities in EU Member States, was transposed into national legislation through the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering Laws of 2017-2021 on the 23rd day of February, 2021.Information to be filed with the National Central UBO RegisterAccording to article 4(1) of the Directive on the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering Laws (Registry of Ultimate Beneficial Owners of Companies and other Legal Entities) of 2021 (Κ.Δ.Π. 112/2021) (hereinafter referred to as “the National Directive on UBO Register”), the information that shall be obtained and kept by obliged legal entities in regards to the beneficial owner(s) thereof and be filed with the National Central UBO Register is the following:
  • Name, surname, date of birth, nationality and residential address of the beneficial owner(s)
  • Information as to the type and extent of the direct or indirect beneficial ownership status beneficial owner(s), including possession of shares, voting rights and/or the type and extent of final control and personal influence exercised directly or indirectly by the beneficial owner(s).
  • Identification document number indicating the type of document and the country of document issuance (Identity card or passport).
  • Date on which the natural person was entered in the register as beneficial owner and
  • Date on which there were changes in the particulars of the natural person or the date on which the natural person ceased to be a beneficial owner.
TimeframeThe National Central UBO Register was established on the 16th day March 2021.   Initially, an interim solution period (grace period) of 6 months, was granted to all existing obliged entities in order for them to file the aforementioned information and details with the National Central UBO Register maintained by Department of Registrar of Companies. However, the aforementioned interim solution period (grace period) is further extended by the Department of Registrar of Companies until the 12th day of March, 2022.In cases where there are alterations and/or changes in the details and information regarding the beneficial ownership of obliged legal entities, the entities and their officers must, within fourteen (14) days from the date of such alteration, file with the National Central UBO Register maintained by Department of Registrar of Companies the new accurate and valid information regarding the beneficial ownership thereof (article 10(2) of the National Directive on UBO Register).Companies and/or other obliged legal entities that are registered after the 16th March 2021 shall proceed with the filing of the aforementioned information in regards to their beneficial ownership within thirty (30) days from the date of their registration (article 9(1) of the National Directive on UBO Register).During the period commencing from the 1st until the 31st day of December of each calendar year, obliged entities are required to confirm electronically to the Department of the Registrar of Companies the information and details of their beneficial owner(s) (article 10(3) of the National Directive on UBO Register).Filing of InformationThe aforementioned information and details regarding the ultimate beneficial ownership of companies and other obliged legal entities shall be submitted exclusively via the government gateway portal “ARIADNI” (article 17(2) of the National Directive on UBO Register). In order to obtain access and use the e-filing system, entities and their officers must first obtain access through the government gateway portal “ARIADNI”, if not already registered.PenaltiesIn case of non-compliance with any of the aforementioned requirements, or in case of submission of inaccurate and or false information, a pecuniary penalty of €200,00 (Two Hundred Euros) and (in case the default continues) an additional amount of €100,00 (One Hundred Euros) shall be imposed on the obliged legal entity and on each officer thereof, for each additional day of delay with a cap penalty in the amount of €20.000,00 (Twenty Thousand Euros).It is noted that the responsibility for submission of true and accurate information regarding the UBO(s) lies with entity itself and its officers (articles 4(3) and 11(1) of the National Directive on UBO Register).It shall also be stressed that during the interim solution period, no penalties will be imposed on companies and/or other obliged legal entities.Access to information submitted to the BO register (partly applicable to the interim solution period)The following persons shall, in any case, have access to the information concerning the beneficial owner(s) through the electronic National Central UBO Register:
  • Competent Supervisory Authorities, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the Customs Department, the Tax Department and the Police shall have fast, free and unlimited access;
  • Obliged entities, in the context of conducting due diligence and identification measures for their clients shall have access to the name, month and year of birth, nationality and country of residence of the UBO(s) as well as to the nature and extent of the beneficial interest held, following payment of the amount of Three Euro and Fifty Cents (€3,50) per entity;
  • All members of the general public shall have access to the name, month and year of birth, nationality and country of residence of the UBO(s), as well as to the nature and extent of the beneficial interest held, following payment of Three Euro and Fifty Cents (€3,50) per entity (article 12(1) of the National Directive on UBO Register).
 It is noted, that during the interim solution period access to the information and details of the UBO(s) will only be granted to Competent Supervisory Authorities, the FIUs, the Customs Department, the Tax Department and the Police, without any restriction and upon submitting a written request to the Department of the Registrar of Companies. This actually means that during the interim solution period, the search facility will not be available to obliged legal entities and members of the general public.Exceptions regarding the publication of information and details relating to UBO(s)The National Directive on UBO Register introduces some exceptions in regards to the publication of information and details of Ultimate Beneficial Owners in order to ensure the proportionate application of the new measure and safeguard the privacy of the Ultimate Beneficial Owners’ personal data.More specifically, under special circumstances, a beneficial owner or the obliged legal entity itself (provided that it has first obtained the consent of the UBO or his/her guardian) can submit a written request to the Registrar of Companies in order to request an exception so that the UBO’s personal data kept in the National Central UBO Register are not publicised. In particular, in exceptional cases where access to the aforementioned information and personal data of the UBO would expose the same to an incommensurate and unreasonable risk of extortion, fraud, intimidation, kidnapping, harassment, blackmail, violence or harassment or in cases where the UBO is a minor or he/she is legally incapable, an exception may be made by the Department of the Registrar of Companies on a case-by-case basis. The exception may concern the restriction of access to all or part of the personal data and details relating to the UBO(s). The aforementioned exemptions are not applicable to financial and/or credit institutions.It shall be noted that exemptions regarding the disclosure of information relating to Ultimate Beneficial Owners are granted only following a thorough and complete evaluation of the exceptional nature of the circumstances.The decision of the Department of the Registrar of Companies in regards to an application for an exemption regarding the publication of the aforementioned personal data and details relating to Ultimate Beneficial Owners may be challenged by filing a recourse with the Court pursuant to article 146 of the Constitution. 

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