Further to the EU’s Fourth and Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directives (respectively “4AMLD” and “5AMLD”), all Member States were required to transcribe into national law appropriate provisions ensuring all resident corporate and legal entities obtain and hold adequate, accurate and current information on their beneficial owner(s), in their own internal register. Specifically, Article 30(3) of 4AMLD required that the relevant information be also held in a central register in each Member State.
Over the course of 2019/2020, correspondent Statutory Instruments transposing elements of 4AMLD and 5AMLD into law were executed by the Irish government to establish a Central Register of Beneficial Ownership of Companies and Industrial and Provident Societies (“RBO”). The role of the RBO is to provide a central register of beneficial ownership of entities and to make that register available to competent authorities, designated bodies, and the general public, thus improving corporate trust and transparency.
Direct or indirect shareholdings of more than 25% are regarded as indicating beneficial ownership and key details of relevant individuals must be provided. Entities founded before 22nd June 2019 were given 5 months from the effective date of the relevant Statutory Instrument (SI 110/2019) to file their beneficial ownership details. Newly incorporated companies and entities, instead, were and are required to register within 5 months of incorporation.
Whilst over 70% of entities had registered by the end of November 2019, and over 150,000 additional submissions have been received over the last weeks, the RBO remains open to accept filings from companies and societies which have not yet deposited their beneficial ownership details. If a relevant entity does not file with RBO, it may be guilty of an offence and be liable on summary conviction to a Class A fine of up to €5,000, and on conviction on indictment to a fine of up to €500,000. Companies and societies which have not already filed with RBO are advised to do so as a matter of urgency to avoid prosecution.
If you require assistance in relation to the above and/or would like to discuss anything further, please do not hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or your usual ACT contact.