News / 22.08.2018

Beneficial Ownership register – Update

Author(s) Peter L. Brechan

The Money Laundering Directive 4 (MLD4) is not yet part of the EEA-agreement, and thus Norway is not yet under any obligation to implement the directive.

A new act for KYC procedures passed on 1 June 2018, but has not yet come into force.

A white paper implementing the beneficial ownership registration of MLD4 was presented to the Norwegian parliament on 22 June 2018. No hearing has been set by parliament, so final wording and implementation is yet undecided.

The white paper is based on MLD4, including the latest amendment from May 2018. It is proposed that a central Ultimate Beneficial Owner register be established to which all Norwegian companies would have to file information as to natural persons directly or indirectly ultimately owning or controlling the company. A 25 % or higher interest is normally an indication of such ownership or control.

Even if a company has not identified or have inconclusive knowledge of any natural person(s) as ultimate beneficial owners, filings must be made. It is proposed that in such cases the management of the company (presumably directors and CEO) shall be designated as beneficial owners.

Anyone will have access to registered information, and non-adherence to the act is a criminal offence.

Silhouettes Of Business People Around The Conference Table With

Companies performing statutory AML KYC shall even have access to the internal evaluations made by registered companies in relation its ultimate beneficial owners. Such evaluations may include reference to intervening companies, sources for its conclusions, shareholder agreements etc., but there is no obligation to present any such “controlling” agreements.

Filing with the registry must be made within 14 days of company registration or knowledge of updated information.

If a company as a result of its AML KYC clearing receives information indicating that the filed information with the registry is incorrect, it must notify the registry.

The information proposed to be filed for ultimate beneficial owners is:

  • Name
  • Country of residence
  • Norwegian personal identification number or date of birth (if no PIN)
  • Citizenship