In May we wrote about the EU (Anti-Money Laundering: Beneficial Ownership of Corporate Entities) Regulations 2019 (the Regulations) and in particular about the establishment of a Central Register of Beneficial Ownership of Companies and Industrial & Provident Societies (the central register).
The central register was due to accept filings from 22 June 2019. However, on 24 June the Companies Registration Office (CRO) announced that the opening of the central register has been postponed temporarily.
Hopefully this will allow time to fix some, if not all, of the anomalies identified by practitioners, for example:
- The Regulations require entities to obtain the PPS number of beneficial owners where "such a number has been issued". However, the CRO has stated that it requires all beneficial owners, including those to whom a PPS number has not previously issued, to obtain a PPS number and to file this with the CRO, prior to registration of the beneficial ownership on the central register. This creates difficulties for foreign beneficial owners who do not hold an Irish PPS number.
- All relevant entities are required by the Regulations to create and maintain a register of beneficial ownership. The Fourth Money Laundering Directive requires that the beneficial ownership information of all relevant entities be made available on a central, public, register. However the central register established by the Regulations only relates to companies and industrial & provident societies and not to other types of relevant entities eg ICAVs.