Following a decision this week by the Court of Justice of the European Union, the Malta Business Registry (MBR) announced on Friday that it is “limiting access to the register of beneficial owners to competent authorities and subject persons only.”
This effectively means that the identity of owners of Malta-based companies will no longer be available to the public.
Subject persons, who maintain the right to this information, will need to register with the MBR’s portal to gain access to the register of beneficial owners.
The EU Court’s decision on Tuesday essentially invalidated an EU anti-money laundering directive that guarantees the general public’s right to information on the beneficial owners of companies.
In the ruling, the Court acknowledged that civil society and the media have a legitimate interest in having access to such information, such as when reporting on money laundering.
The MBR’s announcement, however, made no mention of whether the media will be granted access.
The change could hit smaller establishments negatively
The new rules come into effect from 1st January 2024
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