13.05.2021 Legal services

Amendment to the AML Act – new obligations for beneficial owners

30 April 2021 was the date of publication of the amendment to the Act on Counteracting Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing (the so-called AML Act), implementing Directive (EU) 2018/843 of the European Parliament and of the Council (the so-called V AML Directive). Some of the provisions come into effect already on 15 May 2021.

The amendment to the AML Act introduces new obligations and changes, among others, the provisions regarding the scope of information reported to the Central Register of Beneficial Owners (CRBR). So, what kind of changes after 15 May 2021 should obliged entities, entities subject to the obligation to report information to CRBR and beneficial owners be prepared for?

Learn more: eKRS – from 1 July applications only via the Internet   

First new obligations after 15 May 2021

Most of the amended regulations will come into effect between 3 and 6 months after the date of announcement of the amendment, but some of them are coming into force already on 15 May and from that date the above entities and beneficial owners will have to follow some of the new rules.

Major changes in respect of beneficial owners and the Central Register of Beneficial Owners:

  • Changed definition of the beneficial owner by way of specification who is considered as the beneficial owner in the case of trusts,
  • Extended scope of entities which are obliged to report information to CRBR covering:
  • Trusts whose trustees or individuals holding equivalent positions have their place of residence in the Republic of Poland,
  • Trusts whose trustees or individuals holding equivalent positions enter into business relations or acquire properties in the Republic of Poland on behalf of or for the trust,
  • Partnerships and European companies,
  • European economic interest groupings,
  • Cooperatives and European cooperatives,
  • Associations subject to entry in the National Court Register,
  • Foundations,
  • Extended obligation of indication of citizenship of the beneficial owner by way of obligatory indication of each citizenship they have,
  • Obligation imposed on beneficial owners to deliver, within strictly specified time limits, all information and documents to the entity obliged to report information to CRBR along with imposed liability in the form of a financial penalty of PLN 50,000 for failure to fulfill the above obligation,
  • Obligation to apply security measures in case of a change of data regarding the client or beneficial owner, or if the institution was obliged to verify information concerning beneficial owners during the calendar year
  • Obligation to obtain a confirmation of registration of a potential client in the relevant register of beneficial owners or hold an extract from such a register when entering into new business relations,
  • No limitation of the process of verification of beneficial owners solely to information included in the Central Register of Beneficial Owners or the relevant register kept in another EU member state (entities at a request of the obliged institution provide information or documents enabling identification of identity of their beneficial owners),
  • Possibility of imposition of a financial penalty on the beneficial owner who failed to fulfill the obligation to provide the relevant information to the entity obliged to make an entry in CRBR (up to PLN 50,000), as well as a possibility of imposition of a financial penalty on entities disclosed in CRBR in the case where they provided CRBR with data which do not comply with the factual circumstances or failed to meet the statutory deadline (up to PLN 1,000,000).

For entities subject to the provisions of the Act introduction of the above changes will mean an increase in transparency of information about beneficial owners by way of intensification of actions aimed at updating data, provision of required documentation, compliance with the new obligations, including disclosure obligations, failure to fulfill which will possibly lead to substantial financial penalties. Shifting liability for provision of necessary information to beneficial owners and making any potential failure to fulfill the disclosure obligation subject to financial penalty should also serve to make updates of data in CRBR more efficient, and thus make data more transparent.

Amended provisions of the AML Act – see how we can help:

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