REGISTER OF BENEFICIAL OWNERS IN CYPRUS – NEW REQUIREMENT TO REGISTER BENEFICIAL OWNERS OF ORGANISATIONS IN CYPRUS
According to guidelines set out by the European Council’s Directives EU 2015/849 and EU 2018/843, companies incorporated or registered in the Republic of Cyprus must obtain and hold adequate, accurate and up-to-date information on their beneficial ownership, including details of the beneficial interests held which must be submitted and kept updated in the relevant portal of the Registrar of Companies.
WHO IS CONSIDERED A BENEFICIAL OWNER (BO)?
Beneficial Owner means any natural person(s) who ultimately owns or controls the company and/or the natural person(s) on whose behalf a transaction or activity is being conducted.
WHO CAN ACCESS THE BO INFORMATION?
The information on the beneficial ownership is accessible to:
- The Competent Authorities and Financial Intelligence Units, without any restriction such as:
- The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CYSEC)
- Unit for Combating Money Laundering (MOKAS)
- The Department of Customs and Excise
- The Tax Department,
- The Police;
- obliged entities, within the framework of customer due diligence in accordance with EU Directive 2015/849, Chapter II;
- any person or organisation that can demonstrate a legitimate interest.
During the interim solution, the obliged entities and members of the general public will not have any access to the information held in the Register.
The particular provisions of the operation of the registry as well as the procedures for verifying legitimate interest will be determined by relevant Regulations. It is noted that access to the information on beneficial ownership shall be in accordance with provisions of the data protection rules. Exemptions rules for the access to the register are found in article 61Α (9). The specific provisions for the creation and operation of the register will be determined by relevant Regulations.
WHICH ENTITIES MUST REGISTER?
- Companies incorporated or registered in the Republic of Cyprus under the Companies Law Cap.113.
- European Public limited liability Companies.
Note: The requirement for Registration requirement does not apply for the following companies:
- Companies listed on a regulated market who are subject to disclosure requirements consistent with Union law.
- Companies whose directors submitted an application for strike off pursuant to Article 327 (2A)(a) of the Companies Law, Cap. 113, prior to the commencement of the Directive.
- Companies whose liquidation has been enacted before the commencement of the Directive.
PROCEDURE OF THE BO REGISTRATION / HOW DO I REGISTER?
A company must first subscribe and obtain access through the government gateway portal “ARIADNI” before proceeding to register for the BO register. To that extent the e-filing codes given by the ROC to access the ARIADNI Portal shall not apply to the system of beneficial owners.
A period of 6 months, starting from the 16th of March 2021, will be given to all existing entities to upload their BO’s data on ARIADNI portal.
In case of a change in the information of a BO, the company and its officers have an obligation to submit any changes on the portal within fourteen (14) days.
Entities incorporated from the 12th of March 2021, must upload electronically onto the BO Registry, all the required information of their beneficial owner or owners within thirty (30) days.
Within December of each calendar year, a company must electronically confirm through the Portal its Beneficial Owners and any possible changes to them thereof.
For companies incorporated after the 12th of March 2021, that have not submitted the BO details within the abovementioned 30-day deadline, no penalties shall be issued for the year 2021.
As of 12th of March 2022 any failure to comply with the abovementioned provisions will result to a financial charge of €200 (Two Hundred Euros) with an additional financial charge of €100 (One Hundred Euros) for each day of continuation of the infringement, with a maximum charge of no more than €20,000 (Twenty Thousand Euros).