In February 2021 Cyprus implemented the provisions of the 5th Anti-Money Laundering EU Directive 2018/843. Accordingly, the Registry of Beneficial Owners have been established for Cyprus companies and Cyprus trusts. The Cyprus Trusts Beneficial Owners Registry (CyTBOR), also referred as the trust register, is kept by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission.
Cyprus trustees must disclose and file to CyTBOR relevant information on all parties to a Cyprus trust, including the trustee, settlor, protector and any beneficiaries. The information filed for each such individual would routinely contain full name, date and place of birth, nationality, residential address, number, type and country of issue of identification document, role of the person in the trust and other information which the CySEC may request for identification purposes.
The Cyprus Trusts Beneficial Owners Registry is not accessible to general public.
The Registry is accessible to the Cyprus Tax Department, the Cyprus Customs Department and the Cyprus Police with no restrictions.
The Registry is also accessible to “liable entities”, such as banks and other fiduciary service providers, in the context of due diligence and identification measures for their client.
Finally, subject to special permission by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, the Registry may be accessed by any person who can demonstrate a legitimate interest – such as a controlling interest in a specific entity, inter alia, either directly or indirectly. If such access is granted, the inquirer will be provided with the name, month and year of birth, the country of residence and the nationality of the people involved in the respective trust and the type and extent of the rights they hold in the trust. Quite obviously, such access will only be limited to the one specific entity and could not be used for any “fishing operation” type of inquiries.
In itself the existence of a closed Registry of Beneficiaries is a positive element, as it may provide additional legal safeguards for all parties involved in a trust, including the trust beneficiaries.