With the constant strengthening of AML regulation and enhancing transparency around the globe, the Seychelles has already enacted the Beneficial Ownership (BO) Act 2020, which entered into force on 28 August 2020, along with the BO Regulations 2020. The purpose of the Act is threefold: to provide for the identification and verification of beneficial ownership of legal persons and legal arrangements, to establish and maintain up-to-date registers of beneficial owners and a centralised database, and related matters.
Under the new legislation, a register of BO must be kept at the principal place of business of the resident agent of the legal person or arrangement concerned, and contain information including (a) the name, residential address, service address, date of birth and nationality of each beneficial owner, (b) details of each beneficial owner’s beneficial interest, as may be prescribed by regulations, (c) the date on which a person became a beneficial owner, and (d) the date on which a person ceased to be a beneficial owner. Where a nominee holds interest on behalf of the beneficial owner, such register must contain (i) the name, residential address, service address, date of birth and nationality of each nominee holding the interest on behalf of the beneficial owner and the particulars and details of the interest held by the nominee, and (ii) the identity of the nominator, and where the nominator is a legal person, the identity of the natural person who ultimately owns or controls the nominator. The legislative framework provides for the confidentiality of the BO register and contains provisions on the persons who are entitled to access and inspect the register, as well as disclosure obligations.
It is important to note that all legal persons and legal arrangements through their registered agents have a duty to comply with the provisions of the new legislation by 31 January 2021.
Status of EU 5th AML Directive transposition in Cyprus
As far as Cyprus is concerned, it is to be noted that the country is yet to implement the requirement for the establishment and maintenance of the UBO register which was brought by the EU 5th Directive on Anti-Money Laundering. The transposition of the provisions of the said Directive into national legislation is expected to be finalised in due course.
How we can help
If you or your company is in any way affected by the entry into force of the BO Act 2020 (Seychelles) or the anticipated implementation of the BO Register (Cyprus), please contact us at your earliest opportunity so that we can evaluate your business’ corporate structure and guide you through any changes that may need to be made in order to protect your and your company’s interests and to ensure compliance with the applicable legislation.