Gibraltar is working to implement all EU legislation relating to the 4th Anti Money Laundering Directive into national law, in addition to the current EU legislation on financial supervision and direct taxation, and to this affect, the Government of Gibraltar have established a Central Register of Beneficial Ownership that will be effective from June 26th 2017.
Therefore going forward, all Gibraltar companies, trusts and service providers have to identify and maintain the ultimate beneficial ownership details of all clients that are under their control, so such information can be disclosed to authorities quickly when required. The register will be stored within the Finance Centre Department of the Gibraltar Ministry of Financial Services.
Sites have been prepared, staff employed and software developed for the upcoming approval date for the legislation is ready to be implemented by regulations and will be introduced imminently.
A public register is not required, so the Government of Gibraltar have prepared a private register of companies and other legal entities which can be accessed only by tax authorities and law enforcement officials to remain somewhat confidential. Gibraltar has commented that they will adopt a public register only once this becomes a global standard. Currently, only 5 countries have committed to adopting a public register. Any outside enquiries for information sought from the Registry will be handled by the Gibraltar Government, who will assess their ability based on the credentials of the official source requesting such information.
Additionally, the 4th Anti Money Laundering Directive calls for the sharing of all registers between member states, however only in due course.
The implementation of this directive affects Gibraltar companies in the following ways:
- Keep and retain all information regarding BOs, UBOs and Politically Exposed Persons as well as other individuals with a legitimate interest in the company.
- Be prepared for onsite inspections carried out by the Financial Services Regulator, including random anti-money laundering checks.
- To notify the Gibraltar Central Register of any changes to the BO status or structure within 30 days of any amendments, otherwise penalties may apply.
The Government of Gibraltar has also given a commitment to share this information to a separate register instigated by the UK, as well as the OECD initiative for the global standard of sharing registers with other OECD member countries that have also signed up.
Do you own a company in Gibraltar and need any legal help or advice about the upcoming Directive? Contact us.