On 23 February 2021, Cyprus fully implemented the provisions of the 5th Anti-Money Laundering EU Directive 2018/843 on its domestic legislation. This was effected by way of an amendment to the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Law 188(I)/2007, whereby it was decided to establish central registers of ultimate beneficial owners, with one of them being the Register of Beneficial Owners of Express Trusts and similar legal arrangements (the “Register”).
Further, on 18 June 2021, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (“CySEC”), as the Supervising Authority, published the Directive/ Regulations (effective immediately) ‘for the prevention and suppression of money laundering and terrorist financing (register of beneficial owners of express trusts and similar legal arrangements)’, which provides information and guidance in relation to the registration of express trusts and similar legal arrangements in the Register.
The term “express trust” refers only to those trusts created expressly by a settlor at their own will, and does not include trusts arising by operation of law nor trusts for which the settlor shows no clear intention for their creation.
The Register is kept electronically by CySEC and any express trust must be registered therein provided that: (a) its trustee is located or residing in the Republic of Cyprus, or, (b) its trustee, which is located or residing outside EU, establishes a business relationship or acquires immovable property on behalf of the express trust in the Republic.
The following information must be submitted for the registration:
For the Trusts
- Name of Trust
- Country and date of creation and/or establishment
- Termination Date (if applicable)
- Country to which the Trustee is located or residing and their Residential Address
- Date of commencement of the business relationship, the name of the person with whom such relationship is established together with the document which governs the relationship (Applicable only in cases where the Trustee resides outsides EU and establishes a business relationship on behalf of the Trust in the Republic)
- Registration Number and Address of the Immovable Property together with the Title Deed of the property (Applicable only in cases where the Trustee resides outsides EU and acquires immovable property on behalf of the express trust in the Republic)
- Any other information and/or supporting documentation requested by CySEC for identification purposes.
For the Ultimate Beneficial Owners of the Trust (Trustee, Settlor, Protector, Beneficiaries)
- Name and Surname together with the name of their father
- Date and Place of Birth
- Nationality or Nationalities
- Residential Address
- Number, Type and Country of issuance of identification document
- Date of Death (where applicable)
- Date on which the UBO became beneficial owner
- The nature and extent of the rights which are directly or indirectly held by the beneficial owner
- The role of the Beneficial Owner in the trust
- Any other information and/or supporting documentation requested by CySEC for identification purposes
- In case the Trust has class of beneficiaries, CySEC requests a description of classes and the members of each class and also the nature and extent of the rights each class of beneficiaries has.
First submissions and actions
A six-month period has been granted for the submission of the aforementioned information and documentation in the Register.