As you may be aware, a newly-established Central Register of Beneficial Ownership (CRBO) is being established. This new legal requirement was brought in by the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (4AMLD) which all EU Member States are required to implement into their national law.The Companies Registration Office (CRO) has been appointed as the statutory body in Ireland responsible for the establishment and maintenance of the CRBO. As from June 2018 there is a period of 6 months allowed for companies to make this filing. Once the company makes the filing, it will only need to file again if or when there is a material change in the composition of the beneficial ownership.

A “beneficial owner” is defined as a natural person who ultimately owns or controls a legal entity through direct or indirect ownership of a sufficient percentage of the shares or voting rights or ownership interest in that company. Any person who holds 25% or more of the company’s shares (whether directly or indirectly) is a beneficial owner. In the case of indirect ownership (e.g. a trust structure or corporate entity as shareholder), there is still a legal requirement to file and disclose details of the ultimate beneficial owner (UBO).

The following information will be required to be disclosed on the CRBO:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality
  • Residential address
  • PPS number for Irish residents with a PPS number, passport number for overseas residents
  • A statement of the nature and extent of the interest held by the beneficial owner.

According to 4AMLD, any competent authority with a ‘legitimate interest’ will have access to the central register. This will include the Revenue Commissioners, law enforcement agencies (i.e. An Garda Síochána in Ireland), banks including the Central Bank, credit institutions and Accountants or Lawyers undertaking customer due diligence requirements. There is a possibility the access may be extended to the general public, and this is currently being discussed at EU level, in particular considering General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) issues.

McInerney Saunders will facilitate compliance with the CRBO in relation to our corporate clients.

If you have any questions in relation to the above, please contact Donagh Waters at McInerney Saunders.