in a nutshell
Following the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruling of 22nd November 2022, internet access to the website of the Luxembourg Register of Beneficiaries (RBO) has been temporarily suspended.
This judgment was handed down on a preliminary decision of the Luxembourg District Court in a dispute between the beneficial owners of an entity registered in Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Business Register (LBR) dated 30 May 2018. Directive (EU) 2018/843 of the European Parliament and of the Council amends Directive (EU) 2015/849 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for money laundering or the financing of terrorism, transposing it into Luxembourg law. Replaced. , in particular contrary to Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (“charter”).
The CJEU has determined that this access constitutes an interference with the rights guaranteed by the Charter and is strictly necessary and not limited to proportionate to the objectives pursued.
Consequently, on 22 November 2022, the Luxembourg Ministry of Justice, in consultation with the LBR responsible for managing the RBO, decided to temporarily suspend public access to the RBO via the LBR’s internet portal. .
For more information on what these developments mean for your organization, please contact your regular Baker McKenzie representative.
How do you comply with your AML/CFT obligations if you do not have access to the RBO?
- All professionals subject to AML/CFT obligations as defined in Article 2 of the Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Amendment Act of 12 November 2004 (“AML law“) should continue to include credit agencies, financial and insurance sector professionals, auditors, real estate agents, family office operators, notaries, lawyers, etc.
- Carry out customer due diligence measures.
- Verify the identity of customers and beneficiaries.
- Until access to RBO data is restored, these professionals may collect proof of registration or extracts of RBOs and compare their information with that of RBOs to detect the presence or absence of erroneous data. You won’t be able to. When all or part of the data is not registered, changed or deleted without permission.
- They must maintain their own analysis using relevant information or data obtained from reliable and independent sources and keep records of actions taken and issues encountered during the verification process. As soon as access to her RBO data is restored, she should collect proof of registration or RBO excerpts and compare the results of her analysis with the data displayed on her RBO.
- The ability to register or change information about beneficial owners of registered or proposed registered entities on the RBO website will remain fully available.
in more detail
RBO access maintained for competent national authorities
- Competent national authorities will not be affected by the temporary suspension of access to the RBO and will be able to perform their mandates in combating money laundering and terrorist financing through dedicated access to the LBR intranet portal. can continue to be performed.
- The Department of Justice, the LBR, and the National Center for Information Technology have requested the experts referred to in Section 2 of the AML Act, as well as relevant media and civil society organizations, to provide prompt access to the RBO. We are working on technical and legal solutions. It is involved in preventing and combating money laundering and terrorist financing and has a legitimate interest in accessing beneficial owner information.
- The European Commission is currently considering the verdict. The Luxembourg government said it would be in close contact with the European Commission to discuss the outcome of the judgment and possible solutions at European level.