Draft legislation in implementation of EU’s Fourth Anti Money Laundering Directive
Having been designed for the purpose of stopping the financial system being (ab) used for money laundering and/or terrorism financing purposes, the EU’s 2015-adopted Fourth Anti Money Laundering Directive makes it compulsory for the Member States to introduce a central register of ultimate beneficiaries of companies and other legal entities.
The Dutch Ministers of Finance, Security & Justice and Economic Affairs have now published draft legislation in implementation of the above Directive. The central register of ultimate beneficiaries in addition to representing an anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing device is to enable the net being tightened around those engaging in corruption, tax offences and tax fraud. The draft legislation has been publicised for consultation purposes in anticipation of its submission to the Lower House of the Dutch Parliament, and has been available to be commented upon, throughout the month of April, at the Dutch government’s web site (www.overheid.nl).
It will be made compulsory for businesses and legal entities to have up-to-date information at their disposal concerning their ultimate beneficiaries, for contribution to the central register of ultimate beneficiaries which is to be bolted on to the Commercial Register. Some of the additional details are to be rendered available for public inspection. The Public Prosecution Service, the police, the Tax and Customs Administration and the Financial Information Unit will all have access to the entire body of information, the idea being for these organisations in due course to notify the Chamber of Commerce of any information at their disposal that might be different from the details as per the Commercial Registry.
The draft legislation is to introduce changes to the Commercial Register Act, the Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing (Prevention) Act and the Economic Offences Act of the Netherlands.