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The Irish Finance Ministry has issued guidance on a new EU anti-money laundering regulation on the reporting of beneficial ownership information.
Under Article 30(1) of the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive, corporate and other legal entities located in EU member states must hold adequate, accurate, and current information on their beneficial ownership. This data should include the name, date of birth, address, and a statement of nature and extent of interest held by each beneficial owner. The entity must maintain a register of that information.
The regulation has been transposed into the Irish statutory instrument "European Union (Anti-Money Laundering: Beneficial Ownership of Corporate Entities) Regulations 2016."
The Finance Ministry said that work has commenced on a central register of beneficial ownership, as required under Article 30(3) of the Directive, but it is unlikely to be completed until later this year. Ireland has transposed Article 30(1) into Irish law in advance of the rest of the Directive, on the grounds that, for the central register to be effective from an early a date as possible after full transposition, corporate entities will need to gather the necessary beneficial ownership data and to record this information in their own registers.
The Ministry stated that the regulation applies to every corporate or other legal entity except for those listed on a regulated market that is subject to disclosure requirements consistent with EU law, or subject to equivalent international standards that ensure the adequate transparency of ownership information.
"A shareholding of 25 percent plus one share or an ownership interest of more than 25 percent in the customer held by a natural person shall be an indication of direct ownership. A shareholding of 25 percent plus one share or an ownership interest of more than 25 percent in the customer held by a corporate entity, which is under the control of a natural person(s), or by multiple corporate entities, which are under the control of the same natural person(s), shall be an indication of indirect ownership," the Ministry explained.
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