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Parliamentary questions
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12 May 2022
Answer given by Ms McGuinness
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-001132/2022

Under the Anti-Money Laundering Directive(1), a ‘beneficial owner’ is defined as ‘any natural person(s) who ultimately owns or controls the customer and/or the natural person(s) on whose behalf a transaction or activity is being conducted’.

The directive further provides for criteria aimed at identifying the beneficial owner(s) of corporate entities as well as of trusts and other similar legal arrangements.

In the case of foundations, the applicable rules to identify the beneficial owner would follow either the criteria set out for corporate entities or those provided for legal arrangements, depending on the structure of foundations under the relevant national legal framework.

The directive further requires the establishment in each Member State of central Beneficial Ownership Registers, holding accurate, adequate and up-to-date beneficial ownership information.

While it is not within the Commission’s remit to access, verify and correct the beneficial ownership information held in national registers with respect to a specific legal entity or arrangement, the Commission is checking the completeness and conformity of Member States’ transposition of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive.

The Commission is also placing a lot of attention on ensuring the effective implementation of provisions related to the establishment and functioning of Beneficial Ownership Registers and is in close contact with Member States for this purpose.

The Commission does not have additional information, beyond publicly available media reports, regarding the organisational structure of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Climate and Environmental Protection Foundation.

(1)Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2015 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing, amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Directive 2006/70/EC (Text with EEA relevance), OJ L 141, 5.6.2015, p. 73.
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