Following its initial delay, the online portal page for the Central Register of Beneficial Ownership of Companies and Industrial and Provident Societies (the “RBO”) is now open, with companies being obliged to file particulars of their beneficial owners on or before the 22nd of November 2019.
In addition to opening the online portal page the RBO has issued details of the process to be used in order to verify the identity of beneficial owners who do not have a PPSN.
Member States are obliged by Article 30(4), 4th Anti Money Laundering Directive, to “ensure that the information held in the Central Register is adequate, accurate and current”. The Central Register of Beneficial Ownership of Companies and Industrial and Provident Societies is legally obliged to verify the identity of a beneficial owner against data already verified by the Department of Social Protection in respect of that person.
Where a beneficial owner does not have an Irish PPSN
Where a beneficial owner does not have an Irish PPSN, it has been determined that a Form BEN2 - Declaration as to Verification of Identity, will be used by the RBO to verify the beneficial owner’s identity.
The Form BEN 2 will consist of three parts. Part 1 will include details such as the name, date of birth, nationality and address of the beneficial owner. The beneficial owner must solemnly declare this information to be correct and true and have this Declaration verified, witnessed and signed.
Part 2 of the Form BEN2 is a Statutory Declaration to be completed where the declaration is being made in the State.
Part 3 of the Form BEN2 is a Declaration to be completed where the declaration is being made outside the State and must be signed by a Notary Public.
Once completed and signed by the Declarant (beneficial owner) and Witness (e.g. Notary Public), the BEN2 will be uploaded in the RBO Portal.
Only one BEN2 is required in respect of each beneficial owner and once this has been processed successfully and a RBO Transaction Number issued by the Registrar, that number can be used for making future beneficial ownership filings for that person.
Any relevant entity that fails to file a PPSN with the RBO where such a number has been assigned to a beneficial owner, and/or submits a BEN2 application where a PPSN exists for the beneficial owner, will have committed an offence.
How the PPSN will be stored
The PPSN will be retained securely in an irreversible hashed/encrypted format and will not be accessible by any member of the RBO team. When the data filed with the RBO has been validated the PPSN will be hashed and stored securely and will never be shared with any third party.
Obtaining the PPSN is essential for the RBO to comply with the legal requirement in 4AMLD and 5 AMLD for the Register to be “accurate”, for the identity of every beneficial owner to be thoroughly validated and to minimise the possibility of duplicate entries
The hashed version of the PPSN will be retained to allow the RBO to match future filings to existing individuals on the Registrar with certainty and avoid duplication.