Public Disclosure of Trusts in Cyprus

by | Feb 18, 2020 | Cyprus Trusts

Until recently a Cyprus International trust was confidential. With no reporting, no financial audits and no particular public disclosure.
Secrecy and anonymity were ensured. For the following reasons Trusts in Cyprus were designated as high-risk vehicles by the Central Bank of Cyprus and CySEC for many years; that is until the recent amendment of The Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Law of 2007-2018 (unofficial consolidation up to 13(I)/2018 and unofficial translation) which allowed supervised entities to apply a risk-based approach.

Nevertheless in order to ensure that trustees are accountable for the trusts that they control the following mandatory public disclosures are in effect:

Public Disclosure of Trusts in Cyprus to the Stamp Duty Commissioner 

For a trust to be validly constituted in accordance with the laws of Cyprus it must be presented to the commissioner of stamp duty and a one-time payment of Euro 430 is made. The commissioner does not keep a copy of the document. Nevertheless, this can be considered as the first quasi public disclosure of trusts in Cyprus.

Public Disclosure of Trusts in Cyprus to Regulator of the Trustee managing the Cyprus International Trust

The regulation of the industry providing company and trust management functions (ASP) has brought about the requirement to carry out a public disclosure of trusts in Cyprus. Such obligation requires the trust company to disclose the following:

  • The date the trust was created
  • The name of the trust
  • The name and particulars of the trustee
  • The governing law of the trust

For the avoidance of any doubt, the regulator does not require particulars of the Settlor, the Beneficiaries and details of the trusts. Neither does the regulator store in any way the trust deed. On the contrary, they relly on the regulated entity to collect, store and update this information

Cyprus Beneficial Owner Register and Cyprus International Trust

The Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Law of 2007-2018 introduced mandatory disclosure requirements with respect to trusts. Generally known as the Cyprus Beneficial Ownership Register which you may read more in my previous post. Subject to this the following information will be required to be mandatorily disclosed:

  • The settlor
  • The trustee
  • The protector
  • The beneficiary or the class of beneficiaries if they have not been identified yet
  • Any other person exercising control over the trust

The actual implementation of this law still remains to be seen however the requirements above are expressly extracted from The Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Law of 2007-2018.

FATCA

Under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) a Trustee and or a Trust may be classified as a Foreign Financial Institution (FFI) requiring registration with the IRS and disclosure of results on a yearly basis.

CRS

Under the Common Reporting Standard decree, a trust would in most cases classify as either a Reporting Financial Institution (FI) or a Passive Non-Financial Entity (Passive NFE). If the trust is an FI the trust or the trustee will have an obligation to report to its local tax authority in Cyprus in respect to the reportable accounts.

Flamingos in Cyprus - 

 

Flamingos in Larnaca – Picture by Tatiana Elkina

Harris Sharpe

Harris Sharpe

Author - Photographer

For many years he has worked and devoted his skills and efforts towards building a successful career as a leading executive. From humble beginnings, his aim has always been to yield results; with a keen focus to attention to detail and client satisfaction. His experience has always been varied and not specific, at times he preferred it. With that in mind, he has dealt with CySEC on licensing and ongoing regulation, international private equity and credit fund managers, NASDAQ and NYSE listed companies occasional millionaires as well as self-made millionaires. His passion though is difficult transaction work organizing and deploying people for a common goal. Harris enjoys reading and studying the Cyprus law and sharing that information on this website.

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