German Money Laundering Act: New requirements regarding the reporting to the Transparency Register
We would like to draw your attention to changes of the German Money Laundering Act (Geldwäschegesetz – GwG) that have been in force since August 1, 2021 and, therefore, changed requirements regarding the reporting to the German Transparency Register.
With this change of law, companies can no longer rely on the so-called notification fiction whereby companies so far have not been obliged to report the ultimate beneficial owners to the Transparency register, if the ultimate beneficial owner was identifiable from specific other German official registers. Therefore, the German legal entities (such as GmbH, AG, SE, KG) are now obliged to actively report their ultimate beneficial owner to the German Transparency Register notwithstanding such information already being public in other German registers. Please be informed, that for companies, for which the notification fiction applied before August 01, 2021, there is a transition period for registration (cf. sec. 58 para. 8 GwG) as follows:
- Transition period for registration until 30/6/2022 concerned to the following companies: GmbHs, UGs (haftungsbeschränkt), Genossenschaften, Europäische Genossenschaften and Partnerschaften
- Transition period for registration until 31/12/2022 concerned to the following companies: KG, GmbH & Co. KG or OHG
Please note that violations of notification obligations under the GwG can be sanctioned with fines of up to EUR 150,000.00 and, in the event of serious, repeated or systematic violations, in general up to EUR 1.0 million (cf. sec. 56 GwG). Therefore, we would recommend to review the relevant notification obligations regularly and make the required notifications to the German transparency register without any delay.