On the 18th of June 2021, the CySEC, pursuant to Article 61C of the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Law of 2021 (AML Law) issued a Directive (Regulatory Administrative Act 257/2021), which provides information and guidance regarding the registration of express trusts and similar legal arrangements in CySEC’s Beneficial Ownership Register. The Directive enters into force immediately.
As defined by the AML Law, “beneficial owner”, in the case of trusts, means any natural person who ultimately owns or controls the customer and/or the natural person on whose behalf a transaction or activity is being conducted and includes at least:
The trustee of an express trust or any other person holding equivalent or similar position who resides in the Republic of Cyprus, with fifteen (15) days from his appointment, should submit to the CySEC through the system an application for registering in the Register, and listing all required information. The trustee of an express trust or any other person holding equivalent or similar position who resides outside the European Union and establishes a business relationship or acquires immovable property through the express trust or similar legal arrangement in the Republic of Cyprus, should comply within fifteen (15) days from the date of establishment of the business relationship or from the date of acquiring the immovable property, depending on the case.
As per the provisions of the Directive, the information which should be submitted for registering in the Register in relation to express trusts or other similar legal arrangements, should include the following:
In relation to the beneficial owners of the express trust or other legal arrangements , the information which should be submitted to the CySEC for registering in the Register, should include the following:
As per the provisions of the Directive, the trustee of an existing express trust or any other person holding equivalent or similar position to a similar legal arrangement, must disclose the above-listed information, within six (6) months of the effective date of the Directive
The trustee of an express trust or any other person holding equivalent or similar position, should make known to the CySEC through the system, any change in the information filed when registering in the Register, within fifteen (15) days from the date of which the change has become known. In case the change concerns a change of trustee, then the change of information notification should be made by the new trustee.
In accordance with the Law and the Directive, only authorised users may access the Register through the system. Authorised user mean a natural person who registers in the Register under their capacity as a trustee and/or any other person holding equivalent or similar position of an express trust. In addition, the responsible Supervisory Authority, the Unit, the Customs and Excise Department, the Tax Department and the Police have access with no restrictions.
Moreover, the below persons may have access to the Register provided that certain conditions are met:
The Directive also provides exceptions in relation to the disclosure of the beneficial owners of a Trust in the following events:
It is expected that the Cyprus Trusts Beneficial Owners Registry (‘CyTBOR’) will become operational by the end of 2021. Since the CyTBOR is currently not available, the datelines listed in the Directive will be granted an extension.
The content of this article is valid as at the date of its first publication. It is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and does not constitute legal advice. We recommend that you seek professional advice on your specific matter before acting on any information provided. For further information or advice, please contact Stephanos Ayiomamitis, Senior Associate at Tel: 25 363685 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org