Most Read Contributor in Netherlands, January 2017
Companies will need to be aware of stricter and more thorough
legislation on anti-money laundering (AML) in 2017. The Fourth Anti Money Laundering Directive will
come into force in all member states of the European Union on 26
June 2017. This directive will be implemented in the Dutch Act on
the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing. Among
other changes, a ''UBO-register'' will be
introduced. Each ultimate beneficial owner (UBO) will be registered
with the Dutch Trade Register.
Stricter and more thorough AML rules
AML legislation will become stricter. Generally speaking,
companies will have to give more detailed information, including on
their beneficial owners, to "WWFT institutions" such as
banks, lawyers, accountants and insurance companies. Simplified
client due diligence will apply in fewer circumstances. WWFT
institutions will have to carry out enhanced client due diligence
more often, for example, when dealing with personal asset-holding
vehicles and non-face-to-face business relationships.
Introduction of the UBO-register
From 26 June 2017, each company in the Netherlands must have at
least one ultimate beneficial owner (UBO). In the Netherlands, this
is a natural person who directly or indirectly controls the company
or holds (generally speaking) more than 25% of the shares in its
capital. If a company currently has no UBO, the company must
designate at least one. We advise registering only one UBO with the
Dutch Trade Register; namely, the natural person who is chairman
(or a member) of the management board.
WWFT institutions will request large amounts of company
information. We advise preparing a company model with all relevant
information regarding the company and its UBOs, such as articles of
association, original extracts from the Trade Register, the
company's last annual report, and certified copies of the
passport of both the UBO and the chairman of the management
If a Dutch company is also a WWFT institution - for example, a
bank - AML legislation may apply to its foreign branches, and the
Dutch AML procedures may have to be applied at those branches.
More details on implementation of the directive through the WWFT
will be available in the coming months.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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