ISLE OF MAN TO AMEND ACT DEALING WITH BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP FROM 31 DECEMBER

On 8 November, a news release advised that, subject to the necessary Order being approved at the December sitting of the island’s parliament, the Beneficial Ownership Act 2017 is to be amended, with effect from 31 December, to allow access by “obliged entities”, that is to say businesses in the financial and gambling sectors in the island which are carrying on “regulated activities”.  Note that this still does not create a public register of any sort (for example, other legal entities, or a third party authorised by them, may only access the database to access beneficial ownership information in relation to that specific legal entity alone), and severe restrictions, including criminal penalties, exist on the unauthorised onward disclosure of information.  Information may be supplied by the FIU to an external intelligence or law enforcement agency.  The new section 26, with the proposed amendments in italics, is reproduced below.

26           Persons who may access the Database

(1)          Each of the competent authorities may access the Database for a permitted purpose (see sections 3(1) and 15(3)).

(2)          The following persons or bodies may access the Database —

(a)           the Department [i.e. the Department of Economic Affairs, which controls the Companies registry etc], for the purpose of its functions under this Act;

(b)          the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission, for the purpose of the Commission’s functions under any other enactment;

(c)           employees of the Government Technology Services Division of the Cabinet Office, for the purpose of maintaining the Database and the required website (see section 22(8));

(d)          a legal entity to which this Act applies, for the purpose of accessing the beneficial ownership information submitted in relation to that legal entity; and

(e)          a third party that is authorised by a legal entity, to access beneficial ownership information in relation to that legal entity to which the authorisation applies; and

(f)           an obliged entity —

(i)            carrying on a regulated activity, for the purposes of carrying out its functions in respect of Part 4 of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Code 2019 as it has effect from time to time and any instrument or enactment amending or replacing it; or

(ii)           for the purpose of carrying out its functions in respect of Part 4 of the Gambling (Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism) Code 2019 as it has effect from time to time and any instrument or enactment amending or replacing it.

(3)          To avoid doubt, for the purpose of subsection (2)(d), access to the Database by a legal entity includes access for the purpose of —

(a)           viewing the beneficial ownership information in relation to that entity contained on the Database; and

(b)          submitting information in relation to that entity in accordance with section 22 (beneficial ownership information to be submitted online). Section 27 Beneficial Ownership Act 2017 Page 28 AT 3 of 2017 c

(4)          The Treasury may by order amend subsections (1) to (3).

(5)          An order under subsection (4) must not come into operation unless it is approved by Tynwald.

An “obliged entity”, a new definition inserted into section 3 (Interpretation) of the 2017 Act, is defined as follows.

“obliged entity” means a person or body carrying on —

(a)          a regulated activity for the purpose of the Financial Services Act 2008; or

(b)          a business or activity to which the Gambling (Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism) Code 2019 applies in accordance with paragraph 2(11) of Schedule 4 to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2008.

https://www.gov.im/news/2022/nov/08/tynwald-to-consider-changes-to-beneficial-ownership-law/

https://www.tynwald.org.im/business/opqp/sittings/20212026/2022-SD-0293.pdf

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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