In June 2020, the Albanian Parliament approved Law 112/2020 On the Register of the Beneficiary Owners. The law has created an electronic register that will comprise the list of the individuals that are the direct or indirect owners or have the decision-making competence, of all commercial companies of any type. Included in this, will also be foreign companies’ branches and non-governmental organizations registered in Albania.
The law was requested by the European Moneyval Mechanism, as a mechanism against money laundering.
The National Business Centre, in accordance with the articles of the law, has declared that the process of first registration, for the existing companies, should be completed by the 31st of March 2021, being 60 days from the creation of the register on 1st of February 2021.
The Registry of Beneficiary Owners (RBO) is a public electronic database, open and accessible to all, with the exception of data that constitutes personal data. The National Business Centre (NBC) will be the public authority which will administer this register.
The register comprises also data regarding the direct and/or indirect ownership. Direct property is the ownership held by an individual who owns 25% or more of the stocks or shares of the capital or property interests of the reporting entity. Indirect property is the ownership held or exercised by the same individual in one or more legal entities, which individually or jointly owns 25% or more of the capital stocks, shares, or interests of property in a reporting entity.
In case it is not possible to identify the beneficiary owner using all the available tools according to the law, the reporting entities must identify and record as the beneficiary owner of the company the person who holds the highest directing rank.
The registration procedure can only be performed through the “e-albania” state portal, by the administrator, or any person authorized by him. The documents are uploaded in electronic form and the whole procedure is finalized through the electronic signature. The electronic signature can be acquired at “e-albania”, for Albanian or foreign nationals.
The National Business Centre is compelled to take a decision within two days from the time of application. The NBC will register, administer, process and store the registrant’s data.
All the documents proving the information requested by the Beneficiary Owners Register should be deposited in an electronic form at the register (commercial company’s extract, statute of the company, etc). The foreign documents should be legalized and translated in accordance with the law.
The registration for the first time of a new commercial company or NGO should be done within 30 days from its establishment or its structural change.
In order to ensure the fulfilment of obligations provided by the law. and the Council of Ministers Decision, it provides for very high sanctions, much higher than the usual fines used for the non- registration of commercial company registrations. Such fines range from 250.000 AL (approximately EUR 2,000), being the fine for the first time registration, to 500.000 AL (approximately EUR 4,000), for the registration of changes.
Taking into consideration the technical problems of the procedure, the short time that companies have at their disposal and more so the situation caused by the pandemic of Covid-19, 11 Commercial Chambers and Business Associations, mainly foreign, have requested that the deadline of the registration of beneficiary owners be postponed until the 30th of June 2021, for commercial companies and non-governmental organizations.
For additional information, please contact our Country Executive, Ms. Drilona Likaj, at our Eurofast office in Albania via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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