Date: 4th July 2019
Law 4557/2018, published on 30th July 2018, incorporated into Greek law Directive 2015/849 (the “Directive”) of the European Parliament and the Council of 20.05.2015 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing.
Beneficial Ownership (Articles 20 – 21): The law introduced an explicit requirement for legal entities having their registered offices in Greece, to hold adequate, accurate, and current information on their own ultimate beneficial ownership in a special register kept at the registered offices of the legal entities. This information will be required to be made readily available to both competent authorities and obliged entities on request, as well as to the general public under certain conditions.
Following the above, as well as the publication of Law 4607/2019 according to which the Minister of Finance shall issue a Decision setting out specific issues as regards the Central Ultimate Beneficial Owner Register, the respective Ministerial Decision has been finally issued (Government Gazette B’/2443.20.06.2019)1 specifying the obliged entities, the procedure of registration and the information and data required to be registered. All entities are divided into 3 groups and, depending on the group, registrations are expected to start taking place as of16.09.2019 and henceforward.
Obliged entities: Any legal entity having its registered seat in Greece or conducting business taxable in Greece.
Exempted entities: Listed companies already keeping a notification’s record which are expected to be registered automatically with the Central UBO Register through an interconnection between the Central Securities Depository and the General Secretariat of Information Systems (GSIS) platform. Similarly, subsidiaries of domestic or foreign entities having a listed company in Greece or abroad as their beneficial owner, shall register the listed parent company as their beneficial owner. Information/Data to be provided/registered for legal entities:
(a) Re legal entity itself: Tax Registration Number, Trade name, Distinctive Title, Business Register Number, corporate type, contact details and Legal Entity Identifier (if applicable);
(b) Re legal entity’s representative (or any explicitly appointed person by a Special Decision by the competent corporate body): Tax Registration Number, Name and Family Name, ID number or Passport Number, Date of birth, Address of Residence and contact details;
(c) Re Beneficial Owners: (i) Basic data: Tax Registration Number, Name and Family Name, ID number or Passport Number, Date of birth, Address of Residence and contact details, or the same under (a) information in case the beneficial owner of an entity is another entity; (ii) Address of correspondence; (iii) Capacities/Roles within the legal entity and (iv) Type and Extent of the beneficial owner’s rights within the entity.
Rights of access to the above data:
(a) The competent monitoring authorities have full and unlimited rights of access to the data;
(b) the rest of the public authorities, as well as the obliged entities (a special fee amounting to EUR 100 per year is required to be deposited) have limited rights of access towards the customer due diligence purposes set by Law 4557/20182 ;
(c) individuals and the public in general solely have access to the information provided for by article 20 par. 7 of Law 4557/2018, i.e. to the UBO’s full name, nationality, nature and extent of his/her/its/their rights within the legal entity (a special fee amounting to EUR 20 per 10 searches is required to be deposited).
When will the registration take place?
According to the Ministerial Decision, all entities are divided into 3 groups.
Group A (Registrations shall take place from 16.09.2019 until 14.10.2019): This group includes mainly Greek shipping companies governed by Law 959/79, as well as several civil professional companies of lawyers and notary publics;
Group B (Registrations shall take place from 30.09.2019 until 01.11.2019): This group includes private legal entities (except those included in Group C), Greek branches of said entities and joint ventures;
Group C (Registrations shall take place from 14.10.2019 until 29.11.2019): This group includes partnerships (general and limited ones), as well as sociétés anonymes and limited liability companies.
Last but not least, the respective GSIS platforms shall operate on a pilot phase as of 20.07.2019 in order for the users to familiarize themselves with the respective application.
All date gathered through this phase shall be erased right afterwards.
Noncompliance to the above will result to a suspension of issuance of tax clearance certificate, a monetary fine amounting to EUR 10.000, as well as a deadline for compliance.
For any questions and further information on the above newsletter, please feel free to reach out to Harry Karampelis at C.Karampelis@lambadarioslaw.gr.
1 As amended by the Ministerial Decision 73900/ΕΞ 2019 (Government Gazette Β’/27-1802.07.2019).
2 Articles 11-19 of Law 4557/2018: The law provides for several minimum factors to be taken into account before applying simplified CDD to a customer and obliged entities will need to be able to evidence why they have considered the risk to be low enough to apply simplified CDD. The new law also provides for a list of factors and types of evidence of potentially lower and higher risk respectively.
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