On April 20, 2018, Minister of Finance, Mr. Hoekstra, informed the Lower House that the implementation of the UBO register is being postponed. The reason for this is that on April 19, 2018, the European Parliament approved by an overwhelming majority the proposal to amend the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive, which contains the UBO register. The UBO register ensures that information about the ultimate beneficial owners (or ‘UBOs’) of a legal entity are included in the Trade Register. The UBO register should have been ready in 2017, but the Netherlands has not yet completed its implementation. A bill to implement the UBO register is however being drafted.
The Directive amending the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive, on which the European Parliament voted on April 19, 2018, includes a mandatory measure making some UBO data publicly accessible. The Member States must now implement the amended Directive within 18 months of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. According to the Minister, this means that the legislative process that has already begun cannot proceed unchanged. The aim is to present the draft bill to the Dutch Data Protection Authority before the summer of 2018. The presentation of the bill to the Lower House is scheduled for the beginning of 2019, following advice from the Council of State. The Minister also announced a separate bill that will contain a UBO register for the UBOs of trusts and similar legal structures. He announced all this in a letter to the Lower House on April 20, 2018.
The above means that the implementation of the Dutch UBO register will be formally delayed. The contours of the UBO register are however evident and it is also almost entirely clear who has to be designated as the UBO of the various legal entities (see our report of April 16, 2018). If you would like to know more about the UBO register and its implications for you or your business, please contact Meijburg & Co or Meijburg Legal.