The Cyprus Beneficial Ownership Register of Express Trusts and Other Similar Arrangements – Online Platform
The CyTBOR online platform
On 13 May 2022, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (“CySEC”) announced the launch of the online platform for the Cyprus beneficial ownership register of express trusts and other similar arrangements (the “CyTBOR”), which commenced operation on 17 May 2022.
The purpose of the CyTBOR
The CyTBOR is established by virtue of section 61(C) of the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Law of 2007 (as amended) (the “AML Law”) and it aims to enhance transparency with respect to the ownership and control of express trusts and other similar arrangements, and assist in targeting the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing and ensuring compliance by all supervised/obliged entities.
Who can submit information? What information should be submitted?
Through the CyTBOR platform, trustees of express trusts or persons with equivalent positions in similar legal arrangements can submit information with respect to the express trusts or other similar arrangements and their ultimate beneficial owner(s), in compliance with the registration obligations provided for in the AML Law.
Express trusts and similar legal arrangements must be registered in the CyTBOR, as follows:
- if the trustee of an express trust or the person holding an equivalent position in a similar legal arrangement is established or residing in Cyprus, within 15 days from his/her appointment; or
- if the trustee of an express trust or the person holding an equivalent position in a similar legal position, who is established or resides outside the European Union (the “EU”), enters into a business relationship or acquires immovable property in the name of the express trust or the similar legal arrangement in Cyprus, within 15 days from the date of forming the business relationship or from acquiring the immovable property, as the case may be.
Express trusts and similar legal arrangements are, in certain circumstances, exempted from the obligation to register, provided that a certificate with evidence of registration or extract of information of the beneficiary from the register of another EU member state is provided.
Who can access the CyTBOR?
From 17 May 2022, access to the CyTBOR is given to (a) trustees of express trusts or persons holding equivalent positions in similar legal arrangements that are expected to submit relevant information, and (b) trustees of existing trusts or persons holding equivalent positions in similar legal arrangements who are expected to submit relevant information the soonest.
From 17 June 2022, access to the CyTBOR will be given to:
- the competent supervisory authorities, tax authorities, the customs department, the unit for combating money laundering (MOKAS), and the police;
- supervised/obliged entities within the context of conducting client due diligence and identification procedures;
- any legal or natural person that, upon the submission of an application to CySEC, proves a legitimate interest; and
- any legal or natural person that submits an application to CySEC in relation to an express trust or a similar legal arrangement holding or having in its control, controlling interest in a company or other legal entity, either through a direct or indirect ownership status, or through bearer shares or through control with other means.
How we can help
We would be happy to advise further in relation to the procedure, and the steps/actions that need to be taken for the above.