Seychelles’ FIU urges businesses to register beneficial ownership

Businesses in Seychelles are being urged to register their beneficial ownership information with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in a three-day event at the conference room of the National Museum of History at the ex-Supreme Court in the capital of Victoria.

At the event, the FIU has set up temporarily at the Museum to allow companies to come and learn more about the Beneficial Ownership Act and at the same time complete their registration by Thursday.

The aim is to raise awareness among the local population while assisting businesses with their registration.

"We recognised that it is a very technical, complicated and new subject, which is why we still working with the domestic sector, to ensure they have all the relevant information at hand," Richard Rampal, the director of the FIU, told reporters on Tuesday

He said they are focusing on companies in and around central Mahe, before moving to other areas, which will include Praslin and La Digue.

The Beneficial Ownership Act 2020 came into effect on August 28 and the primary role is the identification and verification of beneficial ownership of legal persons and legal arrangements. It is also to establish and maintain up-to-date registers of beneficial owners and a centralised database.

The Act further stipulates that in order to do so, resident agents are required to register and populate the Beneficial Ownership databases.

"After this exercise, we will now be able to draw the line and say that we have done all we can to help the domestic business sector and, therefore, will have to move towards enforcing the law," added Rampal.

The director of FIU is urging all associations and partnerships to come down to the FIU setup, and do the necessary as with their assistance, all the forms can be completed.

The collection of information on beneficial owners is mandatory and the FIU says that there are no hidden costs or fees in doing so, as it is the information that is of importance to them.

Beneficial ownership refers to the person or persons who ultimately owns or controls a legal entity or arrangement, such as a company, a trust, or a foundation.

The register of the beneficial owner should include information such as the name, residential address, service address, date of birth, and nationality of the beneficial owner; the details of each beneficial owner's beneficial interest; the date on which a person became a beneficial owner; and the date on which a person ceased to be a beneficial owner.

The information will be kept confidential and it will not be publicly accessible.

Source: Seychelles News Agency