You have to provide CIPA information on beneficial ownership immediately.

With immediate effect, those who register companies will be required to provide the Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA), with beneficial ownership information pursuant to Section 21 and 345 of the Companies (Amendment) Act 2019, and in line with the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) Act. The new legislation has assigned responsibility to CIPA to establish and maintain a register of beneficial ownership for companies.

A beneficial owner is the real owner who gets dividends and who has voting rights but whose name may not appear on records.  The Act defines a beneficial person as “any natural person who directly or indirectly through any contact, arrangement, understanding, relationship or otherwise ultimately owns or has a controlling ownership or exercises  ultimate effective control through positions held in a company or is the ultimate beneficiary of a share or other securities in a company.” 

Who is affected?

CIPA has introduced new registration forms that will enable all those who register companies to provide beneficial ownership information. In addition, with the commencement of the Online Business Registration System (OBRS) in June 2019, all registered companies and business names will be required to re-register and provide beneficial ownership information to CIPA.

What new information is required?

In addition to providing the details of directors and shareholders, the new forms require applicants to provide the names, addresses and details of all beneficial owners of the company.

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

The Companies Act stipulates that non-compliance to the new legislation is an offence and the fines have been increased from the current P 10,000 to P 50,000 and even P 100,000 depending on the severity of the offence.