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Suspension of Public Access to the Beneficial Ownership Registers

1 minute

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on 22 November 2022 ruled that “the general public’s access to information on beneficial ownership constitutes a serious interference with fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data” safeguarded by articles 7 and 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

This seminal judgment comes subsequent to the 5th Anti Money Laundering Directive 2018/843 which required member states to maintain public beneficial ownership registers in order to enhance transparency and combat money laundering and terrorist financing. 

Following CJEU’s ruling, various EU countries, including Cyprus, have suspended public access to their beneficial ownership registers.

Notwithstanding the above, Cyprus based companies remain obliged to maintain updated information on their ultimate beneficial owners and to submit such information to the Registrar of Companies. 

* This publication has been prepared as a general guide and for information purposes only. It does not purport to be comprehensive or to render professional advice. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect you and/or your business, bespoke advice should be obtained.