New Central Register of Beneficial Owners in the new Act on Money Laundering and Financing Terrorism
Poland introduced recently the new legislation designed as central register of the beneficial ownership of all companies established in Poland, effective from October 2019.
The new Act on Money Laundering and Financing Terrorism of March 2018 implements the EU Directive No. 2015/849. By this Act, a Central Register of Beneficial Owners was created in Poland on 13 October 2019 (CRBO) with the view of enhancing the safety of economic turnover, facilitating the check-up of legal persons’ structures, and processing information on beneficial owners.
The Act provides that a beneficial owner is a person who controls, directly or indirectly, the client, has crucial influence on its actions, or benefits from its business activity. Thus, a beneficial owner is deemed to be a natural person who holds at least 25% of the assets of an undertaking he/she controls or who actually benefits financially from its activity.
Since 13 October 2019, partnerships, limited partnerships, limited joint-stock partnerships, limited liability companies, and joint-stock companies (save for public companies as defined in Polish law) have to submit information on their beneficial owners to the register.
Submissions will be made by individuals authorized to represent the company. A submission must include the identification data of a beneficial owner and of a member of the body or shareholder authorized to represent the company (full name, PESEL number, state of residence, size and nature of the beneficial owner’s shareholding or rights). A submission must be made using the website dedicated to the register, within seven days of the entry of the company in the National Court Register.
On the other hand, the entities that are already entered into the National Court Register on the date of opening the register, i.e. 13 October 2019, have to submit the required information to the register within six months of the date of entry into force of the regulations relating to the register i.e. by 13 April 2020.
If the companies required to submit the information fail to do this by the prescribed deadline, they will be subject to a fine of up to PLN1 million.
In addition a person who reports beneficial owners to the register and updates the reported data is liable for damage made on account of reporting untrue or incomplete data or failing to comply with the deadline.
The Central Register of Beneficial Owners is open, publicly available, and free. The information contained in the CRBO is presumed to be true and may be processed without beneficial owner’s consent.
If you have any queries concerning the foregoing or other issues related to the subject-matter of counteracting money laundering and financing terrorism, please do not hesitate to contact us.