Draft bill on implementation of UBO register published for consultation

On 31 March 2017, the draft bill on the registration of the ultimate beneficial owners implementation act (the “Bill”) was published for consultation. The draft Bill seeks to implement the obligation to maintain a central register with information on the ultimate beneficial owners (“UBOs”) of companies and legal entities in the Netherlands, which stems from the fourth European Anti Money Laundering Directive (the “Directive”). The UBO register will be kept by the trade register of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce.

A UBO is defined in the draft Bill as an individual who is the ultimate owner of or has control over a business or a legal entity. The Bill does not include a minimum percentage of ownership or control, but this will be determined for each type of entity by Ministerial Decree. As the draft Bill in this respect refers to the Directive, it would appear that a percentage of 25% may apply.

Based on the draft Bill, part of the registered information concerning the UBO will be accessible to anyone, in particular the name, month and year of birth, nationality, country of residence and nature and size of economic interest in the relevant entity.  Furthermore, certain additional information will only be accessible to designated competent authorities and the Dutch Financial Intelligence Unit, being the day, place and country of birth, Dutch or foreign tax identification number, copies of the documentation on the basis of which the identity of the UBO has been verified and copies of the documentation evidencing why a natural person qualifies as UBO.

Pursuant to the Directive, the legislation must be implemented no later than 26 June 2017. As the term for consultation elapses on 28 June 2017, this deadline will not be met. After the new act has entered into force, the above mentioned information must be registered within 18 months.