In the context of the fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism, the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act applies to the providing of services by civil law notaries, lawyers and tax advisers. This act implements directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2015 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing
On the basis of the aforementioned Act, above mentioned advisers are obliged to identify the client, prior to establishing a business relationship.
If the client is a legal entity, the identity can be established on the basis of an excerpt from the trade register or by means of a deed executed by a civil law notary. If the client is a foreign legal entity, the identity can, for example, be established on the basis of an excerpt from the trade register of the country of origin or on the basis of in international business accepted documents, data or information which are acknowledged by law as a valid means of identification in the country of origin. Further, it is required to ask for the name and date of birth of the persons representing the company and to store these data.
For local and foreign legal entities, the ultimate beneficial owner must also be identified. The ultimate beneficial owner is considered to be the natural person who, directly or indirectly, owns more than 25% of, or who has otherwise control over, the client. For a more elaborate explanation of the term ‘ultimate beneficial owner’, please see the document (in four languages) below.
The identity of natural persons can, for example, be established on the basis of a passport. If the client is qualified as a politically exposed person, additional investigations should be carried out.
Should you have any questions regarding the implementation of the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act by the advisers of Loyens & Loeff., please contact your advisor or contactperson.