The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, by urgent procedure, adopted the Law on Central Register of Beneficial Owners, following the recommendation of the Manival Committee of the Council of Europe, in accordance with the EU Directive 2015/849. The law enters into force on June 8, 2018.

Manival (Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism) is a committee of the Council of Europe, a body that brings together experts assessing the compliance of member states with all relevant international standards for the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing in the area of ​​legal practice and the financial system. The basic goal of enacting the Law lies in facilitating the actions and measures for the prevention and detection of money laundering and financing of terrorism.

The Law prescribes the obligation of the existing Registered Entities to determine the real owners of the Registered Entity (including the provision and storage of appropriate documentation) by the latest by July 8th  2018, and make these data and documents available at the request of the competent state authority and the National Bank of Serbia. The central register of real property will be under the jurisdiction of the Business Registers Agency and will be established in electronic form no later than December 31, 2018.

At the same time, the legislator introduced a new criminal offense with imprisonment of three months up to five years, for persons intent on concealing a real owner (i) do not submit the information about the real owner of the Registered Entity, (ii) submit false information about the real owner, (iii) change or delete true information about the actual owner.

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