Gibraltar implements requirements to register UBO

3 August 2020 - On 13th March 2020, Gibraltar incorporated the 5th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive into the Proceeds of Crime Act 2015 (Amendment). The directive has already been implemented into the legislation by way of the Register of Ultimate Beneficial Owners Regulations 2017, which has now been amended.

Legislation defines the “beneficial owner” (otherwise known as UBO) as either or both “a natural person who ultimately owns or controls the customer and a natural person on whose behalf a transaction or activity is being conducted”. If no beneficial owner can be identified, senior managing officials of the legal entity will be designated as such.

This requirement applies to, amongst others, companies or legal entities incorporated in Gibraltar, trusts and partnerships. The UBO must be registered with the Register of Ultimate Beneficial Owners within Gibraltar as soon as it becomes one.

The information that must be provided is:

i. Full name;

ii. Previous names or aliases;

iii. Date of birth;

iv. Gender;

v. Place of birth;

vi. Nationality;

vii. Country or state of usual residence;

viii. Usual home address;

ix. A service address;

x. Occupation;

xi. The date on which the beneficial owner acquired (and ceased to hold, if any) the economic interest; and

xii. Information about the UBO's interest and how the interest is held, including the range within which the percentage of the interest in the entity falls.

This information must be maintained by the legal entity and changes to the information must be reported to the UBO register within 30 days.

With the new amendments, the UBO register is now available to members of the public. They, however, only have access to the name, month and year of birth, nationality, the country of residence and nature and extent of beneficial interest.

Full information will continue to be available only to competent authorities, financial intelligence units and obliged entities. The latter are now required to report any inconsistencies to the UBO Register within 30 days of realization.

Legal entities are also required to inform its UBOs of its status. The amendments introduced a further requirement to provide sufficient information to its UBO that would allow it to ensure that the information held is adequate, accurate and current. Minor failures to comply with the obligation are punishable by way of a fine of up to EUR 10,000. Serious failures are punishable by very large fines set by the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act 2011 and imprisonment of up to two years.

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