The amended law regarding registration of trusts

Posted on 03 Jan 2014, by Marina Fiakka

On 9 September 2013, an amendment on the Law regulating Companies providing Administrative Services has been passed by the Cyprus Parliament, for the Registration of Trusts (109(I)/2013). The new Article imposes that companies providing services of management and administration of trusts should identify and verify the beneficial owner(s) of the trust and submit all the information about the Trusts to the Competent Authorities for their Register.

All the information listed in Article 3(7) about the beneficial owner(s) should be submitted in the Cyprus Exchange and Securities Commission (the “Commission”), which will be kept in the Commission’s trusts registry. Thus all trusts that are regulated by the Commission must be submitted within fifteen days of their establishment. The relevant provision, which regulates the Registration of Trusts is Article 25A of the Law. Any subsequent changes are made to existing trusts should also be sent to the Commission.

According to Article 25A, each Competent Authority (Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, Cyprus Bar Association and the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Cyprus) will maintain a register of trusts that will include, inter alia, the name of the trust, the name and full address of every trustee at all times, the date the trust has been established, the date of any change in the law governing the trust to or from Cyprus law and the date the trust has been terminated.

What applies for trusts established before September 9th 2013 in order to comply with the new Law is that the relevant information should be submitted to the Competent Authority within six (6) months of the date of the enforcement of the Law. Confidentiality on the information kept is achieved since the trust registry is not available to the public, but is available for inspection by the other Competent Authorities following a request. A trust shall be kept in the Register of Trusts for as long as it is governed by the Cyprus Law. Any failure to comply with the above requirements will be treated as a criminal offence, punishable in the event of conviction, by a term of imprisonment not exceeding five (5) years or by a fine, not exceeding three hundred and fifty thousand euro (€350.000) or both.