28 Nov EU court orders UBO Registry to be closed to the Public
The European Court of Justice (the Court) has ruled that the provision of the European Anti-Money Laundering Directive (the Directive) – which provides that the information of the beneficial ownership of companies incorporated within the European Union shall be made accessible to the general public in all cases – constitutes a serious interference with the fundamental privacy and personal data protection rights as laid down in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The Court ruled that while the UBO (Ultimate Beneficial Ownership) register pursues an objective of general interest that may justify an interference with fundamental rights, the measure goes beyond what is strictly necessary and is disproportionate to the objective pursued. The privacy of UBOs is violated by the disclosure of personal data and Member States must have appropriate safeguards in place to protect the privacy and personal data of UBOs.
The Cyprus Bar Association has published an official announcement on 23/11/2022 informing its members that it already proceeded by submitting an official request to the Registrar of Companies requesting the immediate suspension of the possibility of public access to the Register of Beneficial Beneficiaries until relevant legislative regulations are examined and implemented.