Creation of Central Register of Beneficial Ownership Postponed until Q1 2019

By Andrew Lambe, 12th June 2017 (Updated 16th August 2018)

We have recently learned that The Department of Finance has postponed the implementation of the Central Register of Beneficial Ownership until Q1 2019 at the earliest. The CRO has advised that the new systems and business processes for the Central Register of Beneficial Ownership (RBO) have been established, however, the system is not ready to go live. The delay is due to the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive which recently came into force, which requires various levels of access to be established. Some of the Central Register data will be available to the public, however, high-level access will only be granted to the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Gardaí and state competent authorities. To achieve this function, a sufficient amount of web development will be required.

The creation of the Central Register of Beneficial Ownerships is the second and final part of Ireland’s implementation of the 4th EU AML Directive (AML4D); the first part being the creation of an internal register of beneficial ownership that the vast majority of limited companies and their directors are obliged to create and maintain since 15th November 2016. Another interesting development is that Irish based beneficial owners will most likely be required to detail their PPS number as well as other basic details. Non-residents will be required to detail their passport number, and possibly upload a scanned copy of their passport.

The delay is to do with high-level discussions and considerations around the 5th EU AML Directive (AML5D). At the EU level, our latest information is that this central register of beneficial ownership, when implemented, will only be accessible by tax authorities and designated government bodies. However, the Scandinavian countries are pushing to have the register fully accessible by members of the public as part of AML5D discussions.

When the final part of AML4D is finally implemented, it is expected companies will have 6 months to file details of ultimate beneficial owners with the Central Registry. All companies must comply as well as ICAV’s, Trust and Societies. LP’s would appear to be exempt as things currently stand.

It is important to remember that all companies currently have a requirement to maintain an internal register of beneficial owners. For more information or assistance on creating and maintaining your register of ultimate beneficial owners, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our cosec team on +353 1 6461625 or email us at