Cyprus Register of UBOs now accessible to competent authorities

As of 14th November 2023, the Cyprus Register of Beneficial Owners is now accessible to competent supervisory authorities through its electronic format. This means that crucial government departments such as the Unit for Combating Money Laundering (MOKAS), the Customs Department, the Tax Department, and the Cyprus Police, as well as the European Commission, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, can directly and freely access it, thus serving as a powerful tool for authorities combating financial crimes, enabling them to fulfill their supervisory responsibilities efficiently without cumbersome procedures.

Obliged entities, in the context of customer due diligence and identification defined in the Law, have access to the name, month and year of birth, nationality and country of residence of the beneficial owner, as well as the type and extent of right held, upon payment of a fee of three euros and fifty cents (€3.50) per entity.

Access to the Register for the general public was suspended on 23/11/2022 based on the relevant Decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), dated 22/11/2022, in the joint cases C-37/20 and C-601/20. In accordance with the above Decision of the CJEU, article 1(15)(c) c of Directive (EU) 2018/843 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 30th May 2018, which provides access to the general public to information about with the beneficial owners of a legal entity, is void as it constitutes a serious interference with the fundamental right to respect for private life and protection of personal data, which are respectively guaranteed in Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

In 2015, with the issuance of Directive (EU) 2015/849 (the “4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive”), the European Council mandated member states to establish a Central Register of Beneficial Owners of Companies and other Legal Entities, aiming to prevent and combat money laundering and terrorist financing. This means that individuals can no longer conceal themselves behind the shareholders or partners of companies and cooperatives, using complex and convoluted routes.

In Cyprus, in accordance with Law 188(I)/2007, as amended, and Directive Κ.Δ.Π. 112/2021 the Registrar of Companies is the competent authority to compile, maintain and publish exclusively in electronic form a Register of Beneficial Owners of Companies and Other Legal Entities in which information about their beneficial owners is kept.

Companies incorporated or registered under the Companies Law, Cap. 113, European public limited liability companies (SE) and cooperatives are under an obligation to register details of their beneficial owners in the Register. Such entities and their officers/partners are required to identify and register electronically in the Register all information about the beneficial owners which own or control them. According to the definition in the Companies Law, “officer” in relation to a legal entity includes a director, managing director or secretary, while in relation to a partnership, the obligation is borne by the partners. This also applies to companies that provide administrative services (including nominee shareholder services) to clients. Entities are also required to keep the register always up to date.

As of 14th November 2023, the Register has moved onto the so-called Period A of the final solution, where entities are required by 31st December 2023 to register details of their beneficial owners in the Register or, in the cases where this was done before the 14th November 2023 during the interim solution phase, to re-enter them without the imposition of any penalties.

Furthermore, during the period from the 1st to the 31st of December of each year, the legal entities’ officers are obliged to confirm the information maintained on the Register regarding the beneficial owners’ details.

As of 1st January 2024, in the event of non-compliance, notwithstanding the criminal liability or prosecution of any person, the corporate or other legal entity and each of its officers shall be liable to a fine of two hundred Euros (€ 200) and a further fine of one hundred Euros (€ 100) for each day of continuation of the violation with a maximum total fine of twenty thousand Euros (€ 20,000). An officer of a corporate or other legal entity shall not be subject to a fine if he had exercised due diligence to comply with the provisions of the Directive.

If you have any queries about the above or need any assistance with updating the register in relation to you company, please feel free to contact us at