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23 July, 2024
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Companies spared fines for real beneficiaries registry

DCIP reveals changes to money laundering laws


In light of recent reports, the Department of Companies and Intellectual Property (DCIP) in Cyprus provides updates on the implementation of Law 188(I)/2007 addressing the Prevention and Combating of Money Laundering.

The law, modified on February 23, 2021, governs the establishment of the Real Beneficiaries Registry, which DCIP is obligated to maintain.

DCIP has consistently communicated through announcements, keeping the public and relevant entities informed about the legislation. Additionally, issued guidelines detail the functioning of the Real Beneficiaries Registry and the financial obligations imposed, all in accordance with Law 188(I)/2007.

To ensure a seamless transition from the interim to the final version of the electronic Real Beneficiaries Registry, operational since November 14, 2023, an extension has been granted.

The majority of affected companies, numbering around 190,000, now have until February 29, 2024, to confirm or re-enter beneficiary details.

For approximately 5,000 entities, including trusts, foundations, and other legal structures, a deadline extension wasn't legally feasible. This decision was formalized in Directive K.D.P. 401/2023 on December 15, 2023, following a DCIP announcement on December 20, 2023.

Following the implementation of the directive on January 1, 2024, entities conveyed dissatisfaction with its execution, submitting suggestions. In response, DCIP has taken the following actions:

1. Sought legal advice on extending the deadline for entities initially exempt from the extension (trusts, foundations, etc.).
2. Evaluated the potential refund of already paid financial obligations by companies in the recall of administrative acts.

Instructions have been issued to the company responsible for developing the electronic system of the Real Beneficiaries Registry, allowing each company and its officials to register beneficiary details without an immediate financial burden. This new option is effective immediately.

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