On 07th of September, Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission (CySec) pursuant to Article 61C of the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Law of 2021 (AML Law) issued an announcement setting the deadline for the submission of the information on the beneficial owners of Express Trusts and similar legal arrangements in Cyprus Trusts Beneficial Owners Registry (CyTBOR) being the 7th of October, 2022 (Announcement).
Cysec will have full access to the data and information submitted and maintained in the CyTBOR.
The access to CyTBOR is not open to the public. According to the Announcement, access to the CyTBOR can be granted by Cysec:
- To a trustee of an express trust or other person having an equivalent position to other similar legal arrangement or
- To the following persons as per Article 61C (a-d) of the AML Law:
- The responsible Supervisory Authority as defined by Section 59 of the AML Law, Combating money laundering Unit, Customs and Excise Department, Tax Department and Police without any limitations
- To obliged entities for due diligence purposes and identification of their clients upon payment of respective fee
- To legal or physical persons that can demonstrate legitimate interest in accessing the CyTBOR and proving the same through relevant procedure to be implemented, upon payment of respective fee.
- To legal and physical persons in relation to a trust which holds or owns a controlling interest in a company that is not incorporated in Cyprus upon the written request of the said persons and payment of the respective fee.
Further clarifications with respect to the above persons/entities that can have access to the CyTBOR and the procedures/conditions under which such access can be granted is provided below:
Obliged entities: As defined by Section 2A of the AML law, means
- Credit institutions
- Financial institutions
- Natural or legal persons acting in the exercise of their professional activities which among others include auditors, external accountants and tax advisors, notaries and other independent legal professionals and company service providers.
For purposes of access to the CyTBOR by an obliged entity pursuant to article 61C of the AML LAW, the following shall apply:
The following should be provided to Cysec:
- A statement by the obliged entity that the purpose of the access is solely related to taking due diligence and identification measures of its customer
- Consent by the trustee or other equivalent person to the proposed access
- Any other information or document requested by Cysec
The framework regarding accessing the information on the beneficial ownership of a trust on the basis of a ‘legitimate interest’, is provided in section 61C (12)(c) of the AML Law. CySEC will decide ‘legitimate interest’ on a case by case basis taking into account what is provided in section 61C (12)(c) of the AML Law, and more specifically that, the person requesting access to the information, has satisfactory demonstrated, with supporting evidence and information, that his interest is specifically related to and contributes to the combating of money laundering and the financing of terrorism, including such evidence and information from previous actions and activities taken to that direction. Note that all CySEC decisions are, in every case, fully justified
When it comes to access to CyTBOR by a natural or legal person who can demonstrate a legitimate interest, the following should be provided to Cysec:
- The request should be duly evidenced /documented
- If during the examination of the request for access to CyTBOR Cysec determines that the legitimate interest is proven, it shall inform the trustee or other equivalent person for the access request and for its conclusions regarding the existence of the legitimate interest giving him a period of ten (10) days to submit written representation is he wishes.
- Cysec after taking into account and written representations that may be submitted, communicates its final decision to the applicant and to the trustee or other equivalent person.
The following information needs to be registered in CyTBOR with respect to the Trusts:
- Name of Trust
- Country and date of creation
- Termination Date (if applicable)
- Country to which the Trustee is located or residing and their Residential Address
- Date of commencement of the business relationship, the name of the person with whom such relationship is established together with the document which governs the relationship (Applicable only in cases where the Trustee resides outsides EU and establishes a business relationship on behalf of the Trust in the Republic)
- Registration Number and Address of the Immovable Property together with the Title Deed of the property (Applicable only in cases where the Trustee resides outsides EU and acquires immovable property on behalf of the express trust in the Republic)
- Any other information and/or supporting documentation requested by CySEC for identification purposes.
The following information needs to be registered in CyTBOR for the Ultimate Beneficial Owners of the Trust as well as the Trustee, Settlor, Protector:
- Name and Surname and father’s name
- Date and Place of Birth
- Residential Address
- Number, Type and Country of issuance of identification document
- Date of Death (where applicable)
- Date on which the UBO became 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
- Any other information and/or supporting documentation requested by CySEC for identification purposes
- In case the Trust has class of beneficiaries, CySEC requests a description of classes and the members of each class and also the nature and extent of the rights each class of beneficiaries has.