April 16, 2016

On the basis of the 4th Anti Money Laundering Directive (“AMLD”) all EU member states have to introduce a publicly accessible register in which information of (in)direct individual owners of more than 25% beneficial ownership (“UBO’s”) will be recorded. Other indicators for qualification as a beneficial owner are the right to exercise more than 25% of the voting rights or the right to remove the managing directors. If no UBO can be qualified, it is also possible that managers of a top entity are considered to be a UBO.

EU member states should implement the AMLD in their national legislation no later than 26 June 2017, whereby each member state can give its own interpretation to the AMLD. In the Netherlands no final decisions are taken yet and there is a vigorous debate on the level of accessibility of the information. Most likely the UBO register will be administered by the Chamber of Commerce whereby the name, date of birth, nationality, country of residence and nature and extent of beneficial interest of the UBO shall be registered. It is not known yet whether a transitional period will apply in which the required information should be provided.

Parallel to the UBO register a shareholders register is being established. A draft act is now being discussed in the Dutch Parliament. Most likely this register will be introduced after the UBO register and only be accessible by a limited group of persons with a legitimate interest such as notaries.