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Law on Central Register of Ultimate Beneficial Owners

The National Assembley of the Republic of Serbia adopted a new Law on Central Register of Ultimate Beneficial Owners (“Law”) on 25 May 2018. The Law came into force on 8 June 2018.

The purpose of this Law is to introduce a unique data base on ultimate beneficial owners of legal entities and other subjects registered in respective registers in the Republic of Serbia, in order to improve the existing system for detection and prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as to harmonize the national legislation with international standards in the subject area.

Central Register will be kept by the Serbian Business Registers Agency.

The Law applies to domestic companies (other than public joint stock companies), cooperatives, branches of foreign legal entities, associations, foundations, endowments, institutions, as well as representative offices of foreign legal entities, foreign associations, foundations, endowments (“Retistered Subjects”).

Registered Subjects shall establish the identity of their ultimate beneficial owner and collect documentation necessary for identification of such owner not later than 8 July 2018; the Registered Subjects are required to provide this information and documentation to the competent authority on request. The Central Register will have been established by 31 December 2018 and the deadline for the registration of the data regarding ultimate beneficial owners is 31 January 2019.

The Law makes any failure to comply with the obligation and register any change to the data on the ultimate beneficial owner within 30 days from the date of the change a misdemeanor offense; the documentation on the basis of which the identity of the ultimate beneficial owner was established has to be kept for 10 years after the registration, otherwise fines in the range from RSD 500,000 to RSD 2,000,000 shall be imposed. Furthermore, a failure to register the data on ultimate beneficial owner, e.g. registration of false information in order to disguise the identity of the ultimate beneficial owner, is a criminal offense.