26 Apr Thirty-Two Countries Issue Joint Statement on Initiative for Sharing Beneficial Ownership Information
Cyprus and 31 other countries announced that they have committed to establishing central registers requiring beneficial ownership information of companies.
Specifically, Cyprus, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, Finland, Croatia, Belgium, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ireland, Slovenia, Denmark, Malta, Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Montserrat, Anguilla, Bulgaria, Estonia, Portugal, Greece, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Austria, Hungary and Poland have committed to establishing central registers for beneficial owners of companies, trusts, foundations, shell companies and other relevant entities.
The initiative, aims at automatic information-sharing on the true owners of offshore companies between national authorities. Participating countries and territories exchange data between tax and law enforcement agencies on company beneficial ownership registers and new registers of trusts to try to ensure more effective investigation of financial wrongdoing and tax-dodging.
The joint statement notes the importance of beneficial ownership information sharing in combating criminal activity, including money laundering, tax evasion or other illicit finance activities.
The joint statement was originally published on April 22, 2016 and was updated on April 25, 2016 to include additional countries.