The Criminal Justice (Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Act 2021 was commenced on 23 April 2021 which introduced a number of new obligations placed on designated persons.
These new obligations will impose more reporting requirements on professional advisors.
The meaning of the term ‘designated person’ is outlined in Section 25 of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010, as amended, and includes financial institutions, accountants, auditors, tax advisers, legal professionals, property service providers, virtual currency service providers and dealers in expensive goods such as houses, cars, jewellery, art works, etc.
The Act introduces two key provisions that designated persons are required to comply with:-
- Obligation on designated persons to inspect the RBO and establish the identity of beneficial owners before the establishment of a business relationship
Prior to the establishment of a business relationship with a customer which is a relevant entity, a designated person shall check that information concerning the beneficial ownership of the customer is entered in the relevant central Register.
Where the beneficial owner recorded in the RBO is the senior managing official, a designated person shall take the necessary measures to verify the identity of that person and shall keep records of the actions taken to verify the person’s identity including any difficulties encountered in the verification process.
- Obligation on designated persons to report discrepancies to the Registrar of Beneficial Ownership
If a designated person carrying out customer due diligence on an entity, or otherwise, forms the opinion that there is a discrepancy between the information in the RBO and the information that comes to the knowledge of the designated person, then the designated person is legally obliged to deliver to the Registrar a notice of that opinion, specifying the particulars of the discrepancy.
Regulation 28(6) of SI 110/2019 states that a designated person which fails to comply with Regulation 20(3) commits an offence and shall be liable, on summary conviction, to a class A fine.
A Discrepancy Notice Form (DN2) can be requested by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
The procedures for accessing RBO data and purchasing RBO Reports are set out in FAQ No.13 on the RBO website. The procedures for reporting a discrepancy to the Registrar are set out in FAQ No. 15 on the RBO website.
Note: The content of this article is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other advice.