After the introduction of the Beneficial Ownership of Legal Persons (Guernsey) Law 2017, emerged doubts regarding the implementation of many grey areas of the provision. Clarifications have now been provided by Guernsey’s legislative assembly through the amendment of the beneficial ownership reporting framework.
The Beneficial Ownership register was introduced as a non-public and centralised register of legal persons, requiring its resident agents specifically identify and gather information on entities’ beneficial owners falling in its scope. Furthermore, it was placed on beneficial owners an equal obligation to regularly provide agents with updates on such information.
What is now changing is an extension of the authorisations given to the Registrar of Beneficial Ownership and the Revenue Service in their information-gathering powers. For instance, the Registrar will now have the power to gather information from nominee relationships, administrators and liquidators exercising control over an entity. In this way, ownership information will be available even when officers of an entity are no longer in service. Licensees will instead be exempt from this form of administrative enforcement, as it happens for those legal persons controlled, administered or operated by a ‘regulated person’.
The amendments will also give powers to The Revenue Service to share information with the Registrar in order to harmonize the data provided by the same entity to the two agencies.
Finally, it’s been clarified that the assumption for beneficial owners to be natural persons is no longer in place, and that information will be provided by corporate beneficial owners.