The ministry of economy in the UAE has launched a campaign to ensure more than 500,000 of the nation’s non-financial businesses submit data on their ultimate beneficiaries by 30 June.
Such a declaration is “one of the main requirements for completing disclosure and transparency requirements from enterprises and individuals within the anti-money laundering system in the country,” said Safeya Al Safi, director of the ministry’s AML department.
The campaign is mainly aimed at property brokers, auditors, dealers of precious metals and gemstones, and corporate services providers.
“The ministry seeks to enhance understanding and raise awareness among these establishments … [about] the dangers of money laundering, their methods and means of protection against it,” she was quoted as saying by the UAE’s The National newspaper.
The ministry intends to register 513,000 businesses licenced by 38 authorities in the campaign. Those which fail to divulge the required data will face penalties of up to AED100,000 ($27,200, €22,300) from July, said Ahmed Al Hosni, director of commercial registration at the ministry.
The economy ministry classifies the ultimate beneficial owner as the person who has direct or indirect ownership of at least 25% of a company’s capital or who holds 25% or more of the voting shares.
Registering with the ministry’s AML system is mandatory for designated non-financial businesses and professionals (DNFBPs). The beneficial owner campaign follows on from the 31 March cut-off for registration as a DNFBP.