The Trusts and Trustees Act (Register of Beneficial Owners) Regulations (“the Regulations”), published on the 20th December 2017 by virtue of Legal Notice 373 of 2017, transposed into Maltese law the provisions of Article 31 of Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council of the 20th May 2015 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing, more commonly known as the 4th AMLD. These provisions relate to beneficial ownership information, including inter alia, the register of beneficial owners, in so far as these provisions are applicable to trusts and trustees. As a result of the coming into force of these Regulations on the 1st January 2018, any licensed trustee who is appointed as trustee for a trust which generates tax consequences in Malta, is required to submit a declaration of beneficial ownership for every such trust to the Malta Financial Services Authority (“MFSA”). The declaration includes the details indicated in the Regulations, including those related to the trustee, settlor, protector, beneficiaries or class of beneficiaries as well as any other person exercising control over the said trust. The Regulations provided licensed trustees, who prior to the 1st January 2018 had been appointed trustees of trusts which generate tax consequences, with a transitory period within which to submit the required beneficial ownership information, which period expired on the 1st July 2018. The MFSA also published Frequently Asked Questions in order to assist trustees in submitting the required declarations of beneficial ownership.
The Regulations also set out the parties who have access to beneficial ownership information, and the extent of such access. This includes unrestricted access to various national competent authorities referred to in the Regulations, including the FIAU, national tax authorities and the Police. Subject persons under the Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism Regulations are also entitled to request access to the beneficial ownership information of a particular trust or trusts for the purpose of conducting customer due diligence work when establishing a business relationship, or carrying out an occasional transaction in relation to such trust subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions outlined in the Regulations.
The MFSA has developed an online platform for the Trusts Ultimate Beneficial Ownership Register (“TUBOR”) , in order to facilitate the electronic submission of beneficial ownership information of trusts as well as to provide online access to the said beneficial ownership information to the entitled parties in terms of law, at differing levels as outlined above.
To access TUBOR please click here.