The Isle of Man's Department of Economic Development is making final preparations to implement a central database of corporate beneficial ownership as the launch date on 1 July 2017 approaches.
The Beneficial Ownership Act was given Royal Asset last month, and guidance issued by the island's Financial Services Authority will be laid before the June sitting of Tynwald. The new regime applies to all legal entities incorporated, registered or established in the Isle of Man, with a small number of exceptions.
The Companies Registry is to contact them with details of how to upload the information to the new central database in future. Most types of legal entities have to appoint a person, known as the nominated officer, to provide Government with the required details.
The nominated officer will be sent an enrolment code no later than the end of June 2017 enabling them to submit the registrable beneficial ownership information via Government online services.
Minister for the Department of Economic Development, Laurence Skelly MHK, commented: “The introduction of a central database of corporate beneficial ownership shows that the Isle of Man recognises the importance of playing a leading role in international standards and ensuring we meet the highest levels of co-operation to combat money laundering, tax evasion and serious crime.”
The responsibilities under the Act which are undertaken by the nominated officer will fall to the corporate service provider (CSP) in the case of legal entities using a licensed CSP. The nominated officer/CSP must submit the registrable beneficial ownership information by the date on which the legal entity’s next annual return must be filed, or by 30 June 2018 depending on which is earlier. Any changes to the information must be submitted to the database within one calendar month of the nominated officer being made aware of said changes.
The secure central private database will be maintained as part of the Companies Registry and overseen by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority.
Director of the Central Registry, John Wilkinson, said: “Nominated Officers and CSPs already have a duty to keep a record of beneficial ownership. All we are asking them to do now is to share those details with us.
“For small companies, the owner may well be both the Nominated Officer and the beneficial owner while medium and large businesses often appoint a CSP whose responsibility it will be to comply with the legislation.”
Information held on the central database will not be public and will only be accessible by a small number of designated officials in a limited number of Isle of Man authorities and, on request to the Island’s Financial Intelligence Unit, by the intelligence and law enforcement agencies of countries with which the Isle of Man has a beneficial ownership sharing agreement.
The legislation, developed in line with the Isle of Man Government’s commitment made to the UK Government last year, is to enhance arrangements for the sharing of information about the beneficial ownership of corporate and legal entities.
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