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CySEC launches CyTBOR registry platform

The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), with the aim to combat money laundering activities and terrorist financing, according to the Prevention and Combating of Money Laundering Activities Law of 2007, which is fully in line with the 4th and 5th European Directives on combating money laundering and terrorist financing, announced the launch and operation of the online platform of the Cyprus Beneficial Ownership Register of Express Trusts and Similar Legal Arrangements (CyTBOR), which from 17.05.2022 is accessible to the trustees and from 17.06.2022 will be accessible to all other parties involved. Such access shall be given to the following persons:

  • 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.

The purpose of CyTBOR is the easy and quick search for up-to-date information and data about the beneficial owners of express trusts and similar legal arrangements of trusts. The CyTBOR shall identify the trustees, protectors (if any), the beneficiaries and any other natural persons who exercise ultimate control over the trust through direct or indirect ownership or by other means.

As per the Chairman of CySEC, Dr George Theocharides “this is a very important project, both for the CySEC and for our country, that will help in the full transparency and compliance of all supervised entities, which will ensure the credibility of the market.”

It is also worth mentioning that, it will now be possible to provide timely information on the beneficial owners of express trusts and similar legal arrangements to the respective competent authorities of other EU Member States. In addition, obliged entities shall have access to the CyTBOR in the context of their due diligence and identification measures of their clients.

With regard to who can be registered on the CyTBOR, according to section 61C(5) of the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering Activities Law of 2007 (Law no. 188(I)/2007), express trusts and similar legal arrangements shall be entered in the CyTBOR, regardless of their entry in a Register of Trusts, kept in accordance with the provisions of section 25A of the Law on Regulating Companies Providing Administrative Services And Related Matters Of 2012 (Law no. 196(Ι)/2012), provided that:

(i)   the trustee of the express trust or the person holding an equivalent position in a similar legal arrangement is established or resides in the Republic, or

(ii)  the trustee of the express trust or the person holding an equivalent position in a similar legal arrangement, who is established or resides outside the European Union, enters into a business relationship or acquires immovable property on behalf of the express trust or similar legal arrangement in the Republic.

For any further information on the legal framework and operation of the online platform CyTBOR, you may contact us at info@pirilides.com or info@multilysis.com.