In April 2017 the draft proposal Implementation act registration ultimate beneficial owners (the "Proposal") was published for consultation. The Proposal contains the obligation to set up a central register with information regarding ultimate beneficial owners of companies and other entities. My comments regarding the Proposal can be found here (in Dutch). The intention was to send the Proposal to the House of Representatives early 2018.
In my update regarding the definition of ultimate beneficial owner ("UBO"), which can be found here, I mentioned that further information regarding timing of implementation of the UBO register was to follow. The Dutch Minister of Finance informed the House of Representatives on 20 April 2018 regarding timing.
The fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive contains the obligation for European member states to set up an UBO register and has been amended on 19 April 2018 (the "Fifth Directive"); the Fifth Directive shall come into force soon.
The Fifth Directive has consequences for the contents of the Proposal. Therefore it was decided to postpone implementation of the Proposal until after the Fifth Directive comes into force. The implementation period for the UBO register is extended until 18 months after the Fifth Directive comes into force.
The intention is to submit the amended Proposal to the House of Representatives early 2019.
The Fifth Directive also amends the obligation of registration of UBO's of trusts and similar legal structures. As a result hereof, a separate UBO register shall be set up for these entities in the Netherlands as well. This information shall be accessible to Financial Intelligence Units and competent authorities without any restriction and to the professional sectors subject to Anti-Money laundering rules (e.g. banks, lawyers) in accordance with the Fifth Directive. Other persons only have access to (limited) information if they can demonstrate a legitimate interest or if a written request is filed as referred to in the Fifth Directive. The legislative procedure to implement a UBO register for trust and similar legal structures is expected to start end of spring 2018.
If you would like to receive more information about this subject, please contact your contact person with CMS or Gieneke van Nierop, +31 20 3016 455, [email protected].