Law obli­gat­ing Es­to­nian com­pa­nies to show ul­ti­mate ben­e­fi­ciary in pipe­line

The Baltic Times - - FRONT PAGE - BNS/TBT Staff

A bill of leg­isla­tive amend­ments has ex­ited the Es­to­nian Min­istry of Fi­nance that would oblige all busi­nesses to in­form the com­mer­cial reg­is­ter about their ul­ti­mate ben­e­fi­cia­ries and au­tho­rize su­per­vi­sory in­sti­tu­tions to get more in­for­ma­tion about the own­ers of bank and pay­ment ac­counts.

In the fu­ture, le­gal per­sons will be able to keep data about their ul­ti­mate ben­e­fi­cia­ries in the com­mer­cial reg­is­ter and it will be pos­si­ble for other per­sons to view that data elec­tron­i­cally via the com­mer­cial reg­is­ter, spokes­peo­ple for the Min­istry of Fi­nance said.

In ad­di­tion, the amend­ments would reg­u­late the for­ward­ing of in­for­ma­tion about bank and pay­ment ac­counts to com­pe­tent in­sti­tu­tions, which at present is done by hand. In­for­ma­tion about the own­ers of bank and pay­ment ac­counts would be re­leased only to in­sti­tu­tions of the state to the ex­tent nec­es­sary for the per­for­mance of their du­ties.

The mea­sures to pre­vent money laun­der­ing and fi­nanc­ing of ter­ror­ism must be ap­plied also by par­ties that ex­change vir­tual cur­ren­cies and mo­bile wal­let providers, as well as busi­nesses of­fer­ing the cross-bor­der cash and se­cu­ri­ties for­ward­ing ser­vice. Just like un­der cur­rent law, the mea­sures must be ap­plied by banks, other providers of fi­nan­cial and set­tle­ment ser­vices and dif­fer­ent providers of le­gal aid and con­sul­tancy ser­vices, real es­tate de­vel­op­ers and gam­ing or­ga­niz­ers.

The min­i­mum limit for a cash amount to be deemed as big will be low­ered from 15,000 to 10,000 Eu­ros. The need to draft a new redac­tion of the Money Laun­der­ing and Ter­ror­ist Fi­nanc­ing Preven­tion Act arose as a re­sult of the adop­tion of new stan­dards for the preven­tion of in­ter­na­tional money laun­der­ing and ter­ror­ist fi­nanc­ing drafted in 2012 and their trans­po­si­tion into EU law, the Min­istry of Fi­nance said.

The ob­li­gated par­ties would have a one-year tran­si­tion pe­riod to en­sure abid­ance by the new re­quire­ments. By way of ex­cep­tion, the requirement to no­tify the com­mer­cial reg­is­ter of the ul­ti­mate ben­e­fi­ciary would take ef­fect from Sept. 15, 2017, and the requirement to make data avail­able to com­pe­tent in­sti­tu­tions from Jan. 1, 2019.

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