Statutory Instrument 110 of 2019, the European Union (Anti-Money Laundering: Beneficial Ownership of Corporate Entities) Regulations 2019, was signed into law on 22 March 2019. These Regulations transpose Article 30 of the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive and maintain the obligation, first established in 2016, for corporate entities to obtain and hold information on their beneficial ownership.
The Regulations also provide for the establishment of a central register of beneficial ownership information. It is a requirement of the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive that such a register be established by January 2020. This central register will be operated by the Companies Registration Office and is not scheduled to begin accepting filings until 22 June 2019. After that, companies will have five months in which to file the required information. Therefore at this time details are not available regarding the number of beneficial owners so far identified or the number which will ultimately be identified.
While the relevant legislation was signed by myself as Minister for Finance, the register shall be maintained by a “Registrar of Beneficial Ownership of Companies and Industrial and Provident Societies”, as provided under Regulation 18 of SI 110/2019, who will be appointed by the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation.
The responsibility to obtain and hold this information, and to file it with the central register, lies with each corporate entity.
Lastly, notwithstanding the timelines for the establishment of the central register of beneficial ownership for companies set out above, I understand that, as with all legal obligations, NAMA will fully comply with the EU (Anti-Money Laundering: Beneficial Ownership of Corporate Entities) Regulations insofar as they relate to NAMA and the NAMA group entities. I am advised that NAMA is advancing its preparations for compliance in advance of the central register’s filing deadline of 22 November 2019.