Amendments to the Register of Beneficial Owners Rules

By virtue of Legal Notice 247 of 2020, the Maltese Government has amended the rules relating to the register of beneficial owners.  The main amendments are as follows: All companies registered in Malta, must on each anniversary of their registration, make a return, showing any change in details on beneficial owners such as name, country […]

Written By Stephen Balzan

On June 22, 2020
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By virtue of Legal Notice 247 of 2020, the Maltese Government has amended the rules relating to the register of beneficial owners.  The main amendments are as follows:

  • All companies registered in Malta, must on each anniversary of their registration, make a return, showing any change in details on beneficial owners such as name, country of residence or official identification document number or confirm that no change in details have taken place.  The return shall be signed by at least one director or by the company secretary and delivered to the Registry within 42 days from the date of the anniversary. Fines will be due for non-compliance.
  • Where there is a change in the senior managing officials of the company, the company shall within fourteen days from the date on which the change is recorded with the company, deliver to the Registrar a notice of the said change.  Fines will be due for non-compliance.
  • The Registrar is being given wide powers to refuse to register any document of a company, if the beneficial ownership information is either not submitted or if he is not satisfied that accurate and up to date information on all the beneficial owners of the company has been submitted to the Registry.
  • The Registrar may also refuse to register new companies for directors involved in other Maltese registered companies that failed to submit information on the beneficial owners.
  • The Registrar is also being given powers to strike off a company from the list of companies, if a company fails to submit the information on beneficial owners within one month from when a letter is sent to the company informing it that the Registry is not yet in receipt of the information on the beneficial owners.  The Registry will publish a notice in the Gazette or on a website maintained by the Registrar and in a daily newspaper that the company will at the expiration of three months from the date of the said publication, will be struck off from the list of companies and the assets of the company will devolve upon the Government of Malta.   Members and creditors of the company may make an application to Court for the name of the company to be restored to the Register.  The Court may order the restoration of the company before the expiration of 5 years from the publication of the afore-mentioned notice in the Government Gazette.
  • The Registrar has also been given the power to strike off the name of a company if the beneficial owner of the company becomes sanctioned by international organisations.
  • The rights and responsibilities of every director and officer of a company which has been struck off as mentioned above shall continue and may be enforced as if the name of the company has not been struck off.
  • The Registrar may carry out physical on-site inspections at the registered office of a company to establish the current beneficial ownership and to verify that the beneficial ownership information submitted to the Registry is accurate and up to date.
  • A liquidator shall keep the register of beneficial owners of company of which he is a liquidator of for a period of ten years from the date of publication of the striking off of the name of the company from the register.
  • The fine to be imposed by the Registrar on every officer of the company, where the said Registrar deems it necessary to update the beneficial ownership information in the register has been increased from €10,000 to €100,000.
  • The pertinent beneficial ownership forms have been amended to reflect the above-mentioned.

How can we help?  

For further information, please contact one of the firm’s tax partners, Stephen Balzan on [email protected] or Elaine Camilleri [email protected]. ACT can help you understand the changes to the tax rules and how these can impact your business.  

Apart from its offices in St. Julian’s Malta, ACT operates from a second office in Gozo, which is situated in the capital city of Victoria.  For an appointment in our Gozo office, please call on 00356 21378672 or send us an email on [email protected].