With the Royal Decree of the 30th of July 2018, which will entry into force on the 31st of October 2018, Belgium transposed the fourth and fifth European anti-money laundering directives.
These directives provide, among other issues, the obligation for the Member States to establish a central register in which any person who owns or controls a company, foundation, (international) non-profit organisation or a trustee must be identified.
The so-called 'Ultimate Beneficial Owner' register (the 'UBO' register) will thus be provided by Belgium by 31 October 2018.
The UBO Registry should serve as a weapon against money laundering and terrorist financing operations by providing a transparent presentation of ownership structures of legal entities.
In Belgium, the UBO Register will be set up and managed by the Treasury Administration of the Federal Public Service of Finance and will collect detailed information from the final beneficiaries of a company or other legal entities.
As regards access to the UBO Register, where companies are concerned, there will be widely available access for competent authorities as well as for any citizen, while access to the register of other legal entities will be limited to competent authorities and individuals with a legitimate interest or to individuals who have applied for access to the Treasury Administration. Accessibility of the UBO Register will, of course, also involve an administrative cost, unless it is consulted by an inspection authority.
The 31st of October 2018 is therefore a date that beneficiaries of a legal entity will have to keep in mind, since failure to comply with their legal obligation to report will be sanctioned with an administrative fine between 250 and 50,000 euros. Meanwhile, the FPS Finance has extended the deadline in Belgium to enter the data concerning the final beneficiaries in the UBO register until 31 March 2019.
The Federal Public Service Finance therefore advises the so-called 'beneficiaries' to already take preparatory measures;
- provide a legal representative or an authorised representative with an e-ID who can fill in the information mentioned in the Royal Decree via the MyMinFin electronic platform on behalf of your organisation;
- determine the category to which your final beneficiary belongs under heading 2 above;
accurate and detailed information on the final beneficiaries of your organisation and on all legal entities used by your final beneficiaries to exercise control over your organisation;
- provide evidence that your information is adequate, accurate and up to date;
- ensure that procedures are in place within your organisation so that any change in the information about your final beneficiaries is transmitted to the UBO register within one month.
If you want more information on the UBO register, please contact email@example.com