Legal Update: Register of Beneficial Owners
On 13/09/2019 the trial operation of the Central Register of Beneficial Owners was completed and as of 16/09/2019 the application is in operation and companies as well as other entities are now required to submit the requisite information on their beneficial owners.
Law 4557/2018 regarding the prevention and suppression of legalization of proceeds from criminal activities and financing of terrorism incorporated in the Greek legal system the Directive 2015/849/EU.
Among other things, Law 4557/2018 contains provisions regarding the obligations of legal entities having their registered office in Greece or which exercise an activity which is taxed in Greece to collect and keep certain information regarding the beneficial owners in a Special Register at their registered office and submit this information to the Central Register of Beneficial Owners.
According to the provisions of the law, the beneficial owner is the natural person or persons, ultimately owning the legal person or legal entity, or which control it as well as the natural person or persons for the account of whom the business activity is being carried.
The submission of the information on the beneficial owner(s) which are required by law to the Central Register is effected by the legal representative of the legal entity through the electronic platform of the General Secretariat of Informational Systems, and shall be linked to the tax registration number of the legal entity.
The ministerial decision dated 20/06/2019 regarding specific matters concerning the maintaining and procedure for the submission at the Central Register, provides three separate deadlines: 14/10/2019, 01/11/2019 and 29/11/2019, depending on the type of legal entity.
ACCESS TO THE INFORMATION OF THE REGISTER
The competent supervisory authorities (as specified by the ministerial decision) have full and unlimited access to the submitted information.
Other competent authorities and the persons subject to the obligation of notification may have limited access to the information of the Register subject to conditions and solely for the purposes of carrying out their due diligence.
Natural persons have access to certain information only, such as name and surname, nationality and the type and extent of rights held by the beneficial owners.
The access as per above is subject to a public fee and to the registration of the accessing persons details.
The legal entities which are required by law to submit information on the beneficial owners as per above and which fail to comply with such obligations, are subject to the following penalties:
Administrative fine of 10 000 euros and strict deadline to comply with the above obligations
Impossibility to obtain proof of tax clearance.
Similar obligations are provided in Law 4557/2018 in connection with trusts.
*This publication is intended only to provide general information and does not constitute personal advice. We do not accept or assume any responsibility towards readers of the present document for any loss resulting from acting on the basis of this publication.
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