Cyprus to make Ultimate Beneficial Ownership registrar public by September

Cyprus will fulfill its EU commitment to make public the Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO) registrar by September – initially on a trial basis. And, expected to be in full implementation by the year’s end, Philenews reported on Friday.

The beneficial owner or the ultimate interested party refers to the natural person who ultimately owns or controls a customer and/or the natural person on whose behalf a transaction is conducted.

A public Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO) registrar comes within efforts by the Cyprus Republic to ensure money laundering and terrorist financing are not being hidden behind legal entities.

Making public this information is part of the provisions of the EU’s Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive of 2015.

This means that members of the public, including journalists and civil society, can access beneficial ownership registers if they have a ‘legitimate interest’ in doing so.

However, those who have a legitimate interest in accessing the data provided by the registry will have to face restrictions. For example, the need to determine which journalists and activists would be able to get access to the data.

Already, the Registrar of Companies in Cyprus has implemented an interim solution which is the operation of the integrated online platform for the Register of Beneficial Owners.