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All legal entities to declare their UBO by May 31, 2019

18 March 2019

The amendments to the Bulgarian Anti-money laundering legislation have imposed new specific requirements to the Bulgarian legal entities. Some of them refer only to the obliged entities specified in the Measures Against Money Laundering Act (MAMLA). However, the obligation to disclose the ultimate beneficial owner (UBO) is affecting all legal entities registered in the Republic of Bulgaria. Therefore, any legal entity should take the necessary steps in order to be compliant with this requirement, namely:     

1. Define the persons who are the UBOs of the company.  The law contains a detailed definition of a beneficial owner. In general, these are the natural persons who actually own or control the company. If the beneficial owners cannot be defined after all other means provided for by the MAMLA have been exhausted, senior managers are considered as such.

2. Collect, maintain and periodically update documents evidencing who the beneficial owners are. These documents shall be provided to the Financial Intelligence Directorate at the State Agency for National Security (SANS) upon request. 

3. If the entity does not have a legal representative permanently residing in Bulgaria, it shall appoint a contact person for SANS for the purposes of MAMLA. This person shall be responsible for collecting, maintaining and updating the documents under item 2 above and should be able to provide them to SANS upon request.

4. Submit with the Commercial Register information about the UBOs no later than 31st May 2019. Registration is made based on a sample declaration by the legal representative of the company as well as other additional documents (as the case may be). It should be noted that the information regarding the UBO shall be publicly available.

Failure to comply with the above requirements could result in sanctions to the amount of BGN 1,000 to 10,000. In case the UBO is not registered with the Commercial Register until 31st May 2019, the entity could be sanctioned every subsequent month until the registration is completed.

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