Pursuant to the Law on the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism, the Central Registry of the Republic of Macedonia from 27.01.2021 put into use the Register of Real Owners as an information system that enables acceptance, recording, processing, storage and exchange of data and/or documents for real owners in electronic form at the Central Registry of the Republic of Macedonia.
The subject of an entry in the register are the real (final owners) of the subjects of registration. “Real owner” is any natural person (persons) who is the final owner of the entity or controls the entity and/or natural person (persons) in whose name and on whose behalf a transaction is performed. The term also includes a natural person (persons) who exercises final and effective control over a legal entity or foreign legal arrangement.
Article 25 of the Law on the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism, stipulates the obligation of the subjects for registration in the registers kept in the Central Register of the Republic of Macedonia (legal entities), for possession and storage of data and documents for the real owner. Such entities are:
– companies, sole proprietors, self-employed people, subsidiaries and branches of foreign trade companies and a foreign sole proprietor;
– associations, unions, foundations, chambers, trade unions, political parties, cooperatives, religious communities, or other organizations and
– notaries, attorneys at law and other persons exercising public authority.
The Register shall enter data for all existing entities initially, as well as for any changes in the ownership structure of the entities. The legal deadlines are 8 days from the day of the establishment of the entity and 8 days from the day of the change of the real owner, and for all existing entities within three months from 27.01.2021.
For entry in the register, a personal identification document of the real owner is required, from which it will be possible to determine with certainty:
- personal name,
- unique identification number or other identification numbers,
- address and temporary residence,
- date of birth,
The authorized persons of the legal entities are responsible for the accuracy, adequacy and up-to-dateness of the data entered in the Register. The registration is done only electronically, through the Internet, whereby the applicants are identified and the applications are signed electronically.
If the legal entity does not possess and store adequate, accurate and up-to-date data for the real owner in accordance with the Article 25 paragraph 2 of the Law on the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism and does not enter data for the real owner, as well as data on the changes of the real owners in the register in accordance with Article 26 paragraph 3 and Article 27 of the same law, will be fined in the amount of 10.000 euros in denar counter value, and a fine in the amount of 30% of the assessed fine will be imposed on the responsible person in the legal entity for a misdemeanor.
The purpose of introducing the register is to increase transparency in the ownership structure of the legal entities in the country and meet the international and EU standards in order to create an effective system of preventive measures to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.