Central Register of Beneficial Ownerships Trusts (CRBOT)

The recent introduction of EU (Anti-Money Laundering: Beneficial Ownership of Trusts) Regulations 2021 imposes new obligations on trustees of relevant trusts. The purpose of the Central Register of Beneficial Ownership of Trusts is to improve transparency on who ultimately owns and controls Irish trusts and to help prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. In addition to the obligation for trustees of such trusts to maintain a register of beneficial ownership, new requirements have now been created obliging trustees to file details of beneficial owners on a new central register of trusts to be maintained by a Revenue Commissioners appointed Registrar. 

Relevant trusts

The definition of a relevant trust is outlined in the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 (2010 Act) as being “an express trust established by deed or other declaration in writing and any other arrangement or class of arrangements as may be prescribed (but not including an excluded arrangement) and
  • The trustees of the relevant trust are resident in Ireland, or the relevant trust is administered in Ireland;
  • If none of the trustees are resident in the EU, and the trust is not otherwise administered in the EU, then the relevant trust is in scope if a trustee (acting for the trust) enters into a business relationship in Ireland or acquires land or other real property in Ireland in the name of the trust.”
Excluded arrangements are specified in the 2010 Act examples of which are:-
  1. Approved occupational pension schemes 
  2. Approved retirement funds 
  3. Approved profit sharing schemes
  4. Trusts for restricted shares under S128 D of TCA 1997 
  5. Unit trusts 
  6. The haemophilia HIV Trust

Beneficial Owner of a relevant trust 

In general a beneficial owner is any one of the following:-
  1. Any individual who is entitled to a vested interest the trust 
  2. A class of beneficiaries, eg a trust set up for the benefit of a group of beneficiaries 
  3. Any individual who has control over the relevant trust
  4. The settlor
  5. The trustee(s)
  6. The protector (if any)
Where a person is in any doubt as to whether he/she is a beneficial owner of a trust they should seek professional advice.

Information to be filed

Trustees must take all reasonable steps to ensure that information on beneficial owners of relevant trusts is accurate, adequate and up to date. The details to be recorded are:-
  1. Name 
  2. Date of birth
  3. Nationality
  4. Residential address
  5. Statement of the nature and extent of the interest/control attributed to each beneficial owner
  6. The PPS number of each beneficial owner or if no PPS number exists, then other forms of verification as prescribed
Where a legal entity is a beneficiary of the relevant trust and the beneficial ownership details of that entity are recorded on another central Register in Ireland or the EU, the trustee is only obliged to obtain and hold the name and registered address of the legal entity, the name of the other Register on which filed, the filing number from the other central Register and a statement of the nature and extent of the interest held/control exercised by it, in relation to the relevant trust; If not so recorded on another central register in Ireland or the EU, it will be necessary for the trustees to take all reasonable steps to obtain and hold the information for any individuals constituted through that legal entity as beneficial owners of the trust.  

Filing of information on the Central Register

Relevant trusts established on or before 23rd April 2021 have a registration deadline of 23rd October 2021 to file beneficial ownership details with Revenue Commissioners. Relevant trusts created after that date must file such specified details within 6 months of the creation of the trust.

Access to the ‘CRBOT’ Register

  1. Unrestricted access will be available to officers from Garda Siochana, Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU Ireland), Revenue Commissioners, Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) and specified competent authorities. 
  1. Restricted access detailing the name, month and year of birth, nationality, country of residence and statement of nature and extent interest held/control exercised can be provided to the following:-
  1. A designated person (as defined by Section 25 of the 2010 Act) where a trustee, acting as a trustee of a trust, enters into an occasional transaction with a designated person or forms a business relationship with the designated person or the designated person is taking customer due diligence measures in accordance with Part 4 of the 2010 Act in relation to a trust, the designated person will have restricted access to the Central Register of Trusts which will be time bound,
  1. Any person where they demonstrate to the Trust Registrar that they have a legitimate interest for inspection, by making a submission to the Trust Registrar, that
  1. The person is engaged in the prevention, detection or investigation of money laundering or terrorist financing offences and 
  1. The information is required for this activity, and the relevant trust concerned is connected with persons convicted of an offence (anywhere) consisting of money laundering or terrorist financing or holds assets in a high–risk third country.
  1. Any person on request in writing in regard to a relevant trust that holds or owns a controlling interest in any corporate or other legal entity incorporated outside the EU whether through direct or indirect ownership (including through bearer shareholdings) or through control by other means. 
Trustees should carefully consider their obligations under these new requirements and if in any doubt on what is required, should take professional advice.