On 18 February 2021, the House of Representatives (Parliament) voted for The Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amending) Law of 2021; an amending law intended to harmonise the provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive (EU) 2018/843 (AMLD V) and Directive (EU) 2019/2177, to make the implementation of certain provisions of Regulation (EU) 2018/1805 concerning the mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders more effective, as well as to amend existing provisions within the Law in an attempt to improve their practical implementation.

One of the most fundamental provisions of the Amending Law concerns the establishment and maintenance of a central Register of Beneficial Ownership of companies and other legal entities (UBO Register).

Following an official announcement by the Department of Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver of the Republic of Cyprus, the commencement date for the collection of the relevant information from companies and other legal entities has been set for 16 March 2021. It is anticipated that the Registrar of Companies will issue the First Directive for the UBO Register and a manual for the operation of the system that has been developed for this purpose and will conduct a public, informative seminar in due course.

Companies and other legal entities affected by the implementation of the UBO Register are advised to liaise with their Administrative Service Providers (ASP) and Corporate & Legal advisers in order to prepare for and ensure compliance with the new legislative framework.