UAE takes additional steps to ensure compliance with providing real beneficiary data

Dubai. Image Credit: HADRIAN HERNANDEZ/Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE has authorised licensing authorities across the country and in the non-financial free zones to implement administrative penalties and fines against all establishments failing to provide real beneficiary data.

The Ministry of Economy announced that it has taken additional steps to ensure the compliance of establishments registered in the UAE to provide real beneficiary data and strengthen the anti-money laundering system in the country.

“All establishments registered in the UAE (totaling 513,632) must create a register of the ultimate beneficiary and provide required data correctly before June 30, 2021, in accordance with Cabinet Resolution No. 53 of 2021 on administrative penalties against violating the ultimate beneficial owner procedures,” the ministry said.

The ministry revealed that 55.3 per cent or 284,129 establishments have so far complied with providing ultimate beneficial owner data nationwide, adding that more than 14 virtual workshops for 38 licensing authorities have recently been held to discuss challenges, exchange experiences and enhance awareness, in addition to reviewing the outstanding results achieved by some licensing authorities, in terms of launching awareness initiatives for companies, creating electronic systems and educating employees who address establishments.

“These workshops aimed to achieve the highest level of compliance for all establishments in the country, during the grace period that lasts till the end of this June, after which (July 1, 2021) fines will be issued against violators”.

Earlier last month, the ministry of economy asked all companies in the country to submit authentic details of their beneficiaries before June 30 to avoid penalties, adding that the companies found flouting the rule would be sent a written warning note, followed by a Dh100,000 fine if they fail to meet the deadline. Importantly, the company’s licence can also be suspended for a year for not conforming to the instructions of the ministry.

The new law will come into effect from July 1 and all the establishments registered and licensed in the UAE — including commercial free zones — are required to submit their beneficiaries’ data under this rule. However, government-owned companies and financial free zone establishments have been exempted from the exercise.

“Establishments’ commitment to providing real beneficiary data will help create a national economic database, raising the UAE’s position in global economic and financial indicators and boost international cooperation in countering money-laundering and combating terrorism financing,” said the Ministry of Economy.