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Wednesday, 10 January 2018

UBO registers further tightened throughout the EU !

Whilst the Luxembourg law proposal of 6 December 2017, which introduced the UBO register imposed under the fourth EU anti-money laundering directive (2015/849/EC, the “Fourth Directive”) into Luxembourg domestic law, is still pending (please see our article of 19 December 2017), the EU has reached a political agreement to further tighten the rules concerning UBO registers, whose agreement should result in the fifth anti-money laundering directive (the “Fifth Directive”).

According to the limited information presently available about this political agreement, each Member State will be required to make its national UBO registers for entities operating in its jurisdiction publicly “accessible”. In addition, the Member States' UBO registers will be interconnected.

The access to the UBO register for trusts would become available (without restriction) to the competent authorities, financial intelligence units, professional sectors that are themselves subject to anti-money laundering rules and regulations and to other persons provided that such other person is able to demonstrate having a legitimate interest in the underlying information.

The outcome of the political agreement will now be followed up by the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU to debate and approve the proposal. Once approved, the revised directive will be published after which all Member States will have to implement it into their domestic legislation. Therefore, the national UBO registers are expected to become publicly accessible from the end of 2019, which is one year before the information relating to trusts and equivalent entities is required to be inserted into the UBO registers. Lastly, the interconnection of the different Member States' national UBO registers is expected to occur from the beginning of 2021.


Tiberghien Luxembourg remains committed to monitoring the progress of the UBO register's implementation within Luxembourg (and the other Member States).
If you would like more information, then please contact your trusted adviser at Tiberghien Luxembourg or contact any of the authors of this publication.

Michiel Boeren, counsel

Maxime Grosjean, senior associate

Stephen Lamothe, associate

Tiberghien Brussels

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