Montserrat Commits to Implementation Public Registers of Beneficial Owners of Legal Entities
The Government of Montserrat intends to complete its beneficial ownership register with public online access by the end of 2020, says a release from the Government Information Unit.
Since the year 2000 Montserrat has had a public register of legal entities that provides identification information of shareholders and directors. The information obtained and recorded is readily available to the general public, all law enforcement agencies and the tax authority. Further, in 2014 the Government of Montserrat published its Public Register of Beneficial Ownership Action Plan to implement the Financial Action Task Force standards to obtain and maintain identification information on the beneficial owners of companies and legal arrangement to ensure transparency of ownership and control and the adherence of good corporate governance.
In furtherance of the commitments set out in the Action Plan, Montserrat has introduced an electronic registry database system to record, store and maintain the incorporation and registry details of all legal entities and which are maintained on an annual basis.
In addition, following public consultation, steps have already been taken to introduce a revised legislative framework to obtain beneficial ownership information from all registered legal entities, and legal arrangements to make the information available through the public
registers of legal entities.
While the beneficial information will be readily available for a physical search to be carried out of the publicly available registers, the timeline for bringing the beneficial ownership information online is subject to resources being made available to enhance the electronic registry database system, and provide the level of security required to safeguard information stored in the registry database system, and to meet the criteria set by international standards for protecting personal data. This jurisdiction is committed to introducing the legislative framework to obtain the beneficial ownership information by the year ending December 2020. The commitment to make the public register of legal entities available online is based on the premise that the Montserrat will receive the necessary support to enhance its capacity to provide online services.