Cyprus has implemented the provisions of the 5th Anti-Money Laundering EU Directive 2018/843 by amending the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Law 188(I)/2007 (the “Law”). The Law provides for the creation of the register of ultimate beneficial owners which shall be administered by the Registrar of Companies and the register of beneficial owners of express trusts and similar legal arrangements which shall be kept by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (“CySEC”),
On 18 June 2021, CySEC published its directive, with immediate effect, for the prevention and suppression of money laundering and terrorist financing in regards to the register of beneficial owners of express trusts and similar legal arrangements (the “ Trust Register”), which provides information and guidance in relation to the registration of express trusts and similar legal arrangements in the Trust Register.
The term “express trust” is defined as the trust which is created explicitly and voluntarily by the settlor and does not include any trust arising by operation of law or any trust or decision for which the settlor has no explicit intention to create.
The Trust Register shall be kept electronically by CySEC and any express trust or similar legal arrangement must be registered therein provided that: (a) its trustee is located or residing in the Republic of Cyprus, or, (b) its trustee, which is located or residing outside the EU, establishes a business relationship or acquires immovable property on behalf of the express trust in the Republic of Cyprus.
The following information must be submitted for the registration:
A. For the express trusts or similar legal arrangements
- Country and date of creation and/or establishment;
- Applicable law;
- Termination Date (if applicable);
- In case of a similar legal arrangement, the kind of such arrangement;
- Information in regards to the country of establishment or residence of the trustee, as well as his address;
- In case where the trustee is situated outside the EU and creates a business relationship in the Republic, the date of the beginning of the business relationship, the name of the person to whom such business relationship is established and the document regulating such relationship;
- In case where the trustee is situated outside the EU and acquires immovable property on behalf of an express trust in the Republic, the registration number of such immovable property and its title.
- Any other information and/or supporting documentation requested by CySEC for identification purposes.
B. For the Ultimate Beneficial Owners of the Trust (Trustee, Settlor, Protector, Beneficiaries, any other physical person exercising final control of the trust through direct or indirect ownership or by other means)
- Name and surname;
- Name of father;
- Date of birth;
- Place of birth;
- Nationality or Nationalities;
- Residential Address;
- Number, Type and Country of issuance of identification document;
- Date of Death (where applicable);
- Date on which the UBO became the beneficial owner;
- The nature and extent of the rights which are directly or indirectly held by the beneficial owner;
- The role of the beneficial owner in the trust or in the similar legal arrangement;
In case where the beneficiary has not yet been identified, then the following shall be disclosed in relation to the category of the beneficiaries:
- Description of classes and the members of each class;
- The nature and extent of the rights each class of beneficiaries has.
In case where the beneficiary has not yet been identified and the category of people in whose interest the trust has been created and operates, is a legal person then the following will be submitted:
- Name of the legal person;
- Type of the legal person;
- Registration number;
- Date and country of incorporation;
- Registered address;
- Its role in the express trust or in the similar legal arrangement;
- The particulars referred in the category of ultimate beneficial owners;
- Any other information and/or supporting documentation requested by CySEC for identification purposes of the beneficial owners.
CySEC can provide access of the Trust Register to the following:
- Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, the Cyprus Tax Department, the Cyprus Customs Department and the Cyprus Police with no restrictions;
- Any liable entity, in the context of due diligence and identification measures for their client;
- Any natural or legal person who can demonstrate a legitimate interest. This will be subject to acceptance by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission; and
- Any natural or legal person who has a controlling interest in a company or other legal entity, inter alia, either directly or indirectly, indirect ownership, or through shares in the bearer or through control by other means. This will be subject to acceptance by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission.
If access is granted, any natural or legal person will have access to the name, month and year of birth, the country of residence and the nationality of the people involve in the trust and the type and extent of the rights they hold in the trust.
First submissions and actions
A six-month period has been granted for the submission of the aforementioned information and documentation in the Trust Register.
For professional assistance and advise on how to effectively comply with these regulations please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.