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12° Nicosia,
15 July, 2024
 

Companies grapple with soaring fines amidst regulatory confusion

Bureaucratic mix-up sparks urgent appeals for simplified compliance and deadline extension

Panayiotis Rougalas

Panayiotis Rougalas

There's a significant issue with hefty fines hitting companies hard – we're talking about a daily hit of €100. The crux of the matter lies in a bureaucratic mix-up regarding the accurate records of company ownership, managed by the Company Registrar.

Here's the gist: as of January 1, 2024, a new set of regulations came into effect, triggering widespread chaos and complications for many businesses. The root of the problem traces back to a governmental directive aimed at smoothly transitioning from a temporary fix to a permanent solution for maintaining electronic records of company ownership. This directive was implemented on November 14, 2023.

Since then, it's been a quagmire. Companies are grappling with compliance issues, and fines are accumulating. To address this, several organizations jointly penned a letter to the authorities on January 10, highlighting the pressing issues.

The key points they are emphasizing:

1. Urgent Meeting: They are seeking an immediate meeting with the government to untangle the confusion.

2. Simplified Registration: They are requesting a more streamlined process for entering company and ownership details without incurring fines. This would facilitate record updates and ensure the country remains in compliance with European regulations, without penalizing companies genuinely striving to adhere to the new requirements.

3. Deadline Extension: They are urging an extension until the end of February for companies to register without facing fines. This extension should apply to those who adhered to the temporary rules until November 13, 2023. They argue that penalizing companies unable to register their owners during this interim period is unjust.

4. Halt Automatic Fines: They are pushing for the cancellation of fines automatically imposed on companies that correctly registered their actual owners under the new rules. For those who already paid fines, they are requesting a mechanism for reimbursement.

In essence, it's a serious situation stemming from new regulations, and companies are grappling to navigate the complexities. They are earnestly requesting understanding, additional time, and a more straightforward avenue to align with the new regulatory framework.

[This article was translated from its Greek original and edited for brevity]

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