In accordance with the 4th Directive of the European Union on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing (EE 2015/849, Article 30), Member States are to introduce a central register which shall contain information about the beneficial ownership of companies and other legal entities.

The central registers must take effect until the 10th January 2020 and the registers of Member States must be inter-connected through the European Central Platform by the 10th March 2021.

It has been announced that the central register for Cyprus companies shall be created by and kept with the Department of Registrar of Companies.

Access to the central register will be subject to Data Protection rules and will only be provided to:

i) competent authorities and Financial Intelligence Units, without any restriction;

ii) obliged entities, within the framework of customer due diligence; and

iii) any person or organisation that can demonstrate a legitimate interest.

It is expected that further announcements relating to the above will follow in the near future.

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