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The deadline for filing Benficial Ownership details in the Central Beneficial Ownership Register is the 22nd of November, 2019. KomSec would advise clients not to leave registration until the last minute as a rush of registrations could cause a system overload in the Companies Registration Office (which is handling filings on behalf of the Registrar of Beneficial Owernship). It should also be remembered that the 2019 legislation increased the sanctions substantially from those provided for in the 2016 legislation. A company who breaches the Regulations may now be liable to a class A fine (currently up to €5,000) or, on indictment, a fine not exceeding €500,000. In addition to these fines, custodial sentences of up to 12 months can be imposed. You have been warned!
Further details can be obtained by contacting KomSec or accessing the Central Register website at https://rbo.gov.ie/
Central Register of Beneficial Ownership of Companies and Provident Societies – Opening Postponed
The common understanding of Beneficial Ownership is that companies must provide details of any individual with an ultimate shareholding of 25%+1 share in any company registered in Ireland.
Providing a detailed understanding of the intricacies involved or, obtaining the pertinent information required is not easy.
The history in implementing EU Anti-Money Laundering Directives in Ireland is almost as long as the name of the Irish Central Register. Some of the key points relating to Anti-Money Laundering and Beneficial Ownership are noted below.
November 2016 Statutory Instrument No. 560 requiring companies to create and maintain a Register of Beneficial Ownership
July 2018 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive entered into force in EU
November 2018 Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amending) Act 2018
March 2019 Statutory Instrument No. 110 requiring companies to file their Beneficial Ownership details with the Central Register
June 2019 Central Register to be open for electronic filings by companies
November 2019 Deadline for all companies to complete their filings on the Central Register
January 2020 Transposition of 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive by all Member States
It should have been possible from 22.06.2019 for companies to start electronically filing in the Central Register. Unfortunately, the Central Register have advised that the opening of the Register has been postponed temporarily.
Regardless of whether or not one can file on the Central Register companies must still maintain and update their own internal Register of Beneficial Owners.
New Beneficial Ownership Rules
The long-awaited legislation to set up the Beneficial Ownership Register in the Companies Registration Office has finally arrived. The relevant statutory instrument (The European Union (Anti-Money Laundering: Beneficial Ownership of Corporate Entities) Regulations 2019) was enacted on the 22nd of March 2019.
What does this mean for my company?
- The majority of Irish companies must have an internal Beneficial Ownership Register in place. If this is not already actioned it must be done now. It can no longer be put on the long finger!
- Beneficial Ownership information must be filed in the newly established Central Register of Beneficial Ownership. The Register will be operational and filings can commence from the 22nd of June 2019. There is a five-month grace period which means the latest a filing can be made on is the 22nd of November, 2019 – although it is probably not advisable to wait until then as the penalties for non-compliance have been sizably increased.
Is there anything new I should be aware of (apart from the basic fact that there is a new Central Register)?
- PPS numbers for every Beneficial Owner must now be provided for in the Register
- Some of the information on the Central Register will be accessible to the general public
- Fines for breach have increased from €5,000 to €500,000
More details and advice on this important new legislation is available at any time from KomSec .
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