A notice issued by the Malta Business Registry (MBR) explains how access to the Register of Beneficial Owners is being changed due to a decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union. This was delivered on 22 November 2022, whereby the Court of Justice ruled that the provisions in Directive (EU) 2015/849 which granted public access to Registers of Beneficial Owners to legal entities are invalid.
As stated in the MBR's notice, only competent authorities and subject persons are to be allowed access to the Register of Beneficial Owners – access by the general public has been suspended. Subject persons are to note that their access is conditional on registration with the MBR through its portal and a favourable outcome to their request to access the Register of Beneficial Owners.
The Registrar brought to the attention of the general public that the Court of Justice of the European Union in its ruling delivered on 22nd November, 2022 stated that: Article 1(15)(c) of Directive (EU) 2018/843 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 amending Directive (EU) 2015/849 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing, and amending Directives 2009/138/EC and 2013/36/EU, is invalid in so far as it amended point (c) of the first subparagraph of Article 30(5) of Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2015 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing, amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Directive 2006/70/EC, in such a way that point (c) of the first subparagraph of Article 30(5), as thus amended, provides that Member States must ensure that information on the beneficial ownership of companies and of other legal entities incorporated within their territory is accessible in all cases to any member of the general public.
For further information, please refer to the MBR's notice which can be accessed here.
This information was originally published by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) and The Malta Business Registery (MBR) on the 29th of November 2022.
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