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Introduction
The new Measures against Money Laundering Act (the “MAMLA”) promulgated in the State Gazette, issue 27, dated 27 March 2018, and entered into force on 31 March 2018, partially transpose the provisions of Directive (EU) 2015/849 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing (the “MLD4”).

Obligated entities
Some of the main types of obligated entities specifically listed in the “MAMLA” are the following:

  • other payment service providers;
  • financial institutions;
  • currency exchange offices;
  • insurers, reinsurers and insurance intermediaries
  • management companies
  • statutory auditors;
  • persons that, by way of their business, provide accounting services and/or tax consultancy services, as well as persons that, as their principal business or professional activity, provide assistance in any form or advice on tax matters;
  • persons that, by way of their business, provide legal advice;
  • persons that, by way of their business, provide: a registered office, correspondence address, business accommodation and/or other related services for the purposes of the registration and/or operation of a legal person or other legal entity, providing nominees etc.;
  • wholesalers;

Non-compliance with the “MAMLA” provisions can lead to severe sanctions upon the establishment of violations by competent authorities.

Obligations
With the adoption and enforcement of “MAMLA”, three main groups of obligations have been imposed on all types of obligated entities.
I. A general obligation for all legal entities registered in Bulgaria to declare their Ultimate Beneficial Owner, and structure of control.
A “BENEFICIAL OWNER” OR “UBO” is defined in § 2(1) of the additional provisions of the MAMLA as a physical person who ultimately owns or controls a legal person or another entity, or a person or persons on whose behalf a transaction or an activity is carried out.
II. The “obligated entities” referred to in Point 2. herein shall adopt internal rules on money laundering and terrorist financing control and prevention that shall furthermore be applied effectively with respect to branches and subsidiaries thereof abroad.
III. In order to implement the above-mentioned internal rules, the entities referred to in Point 2 above, are required to establish the ultimate beneficial owner (“UBO”) of their clients, upon the initiation of professional relationship, the opening of an account, or a transaction amounting to more than EUR 15,000, or EUR 5,000 if the payment is to be made in cash. The identification of the beneficial owner shall be verified via the performance of due diligence on the grounds of official documents, or a declaration signed by the legal representative or proxy of the legal entity. The “Know Your Customer” procedure involves the clarification of the source of funds subject to the relevant transaction.

Our team of dedicated professionals at Eurofast is available to support you and your business interests in Bulgaria. Our expertise will make the process of assuring the MAMLA compliance of your business in Bulgaria easy and with minimal engagement from your side. This will include:
• analysis of your company’s clients,
• assessment of any potential risk arising from suspicious clients/transactions,
• Preparation of the full package of documentation to ensure you are compliant

Do no hesitate to contact our Country Manager – Mr. Ioannis Kesisis at +359 2 988 69 77 (Ext.2306) or ioannis.kesisis@eurofast.eu and our Senior Legal Adviser Mrs. Sylvia Marushkina at sylvia.marushkina@eurofast.eu

Eurofast is a regional business advisory organisation employing local advisers in over 23 cities in South East Europe & Middle East (SEEME). The Organisation is uniquely positioned as one stop shop for investors and companies looking for professional services in South East Europe & Middle East.


Ioannis Kesisis
Country Manager
Eurofast Bulgaria
ioannis.kesisis@eurofast.eu
Sylvia Marushkina
Senior Legal Adviser
Eurofast Bulgaria
sylvia.marushkina@eurofast.eu

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