, Panama implements private system of final beneficiaries´registry

Panama implements private system of final beneficiaries´registry

The Law No. 129 of March 17, 2020, promulgated on March 20, 2020, creates the private system of Final Beneficiaries Registry of the legal entities incorporated or registered under the laws of the Republic of Panama, which will be guarded and administered by the Superintendence of Non-Financial Subjects to guarantee the confidentiality of the information on the identity of the Final Beneficiaries.

The purpose of the Registry is to create a private, single system with limited access, with certain information on the final beneficiaries of the entities, to assist the competent authorities (Public Ministry, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Superintendence of Banks, Unit of Financial Analysis and Stock Market Superintendence) in the prevention of money laundering crimes, financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Said information will be provided to the competent entities whenever a formal request is made for specific cases of investigative processes of the aforementioned crimes or of assistance under international treaties or agreements signed by Panama.

The Law prohibits the adoption of precautionary measures or exhibition measures in case of judicial proceedings between individuals, therefore, a third party may not have access to said information as a result of legal disputes.

Resident agents are obliged to supply directly to the Single System of the Superintendence, the following minimum updated information on the Final Beneficiaries of the legal entities for which they provide their services, which they must have obtained during their due diligence process and which they must keep in their files: (i) full name; (ii) ID number, passport or personal identification document; (iii) date of birth; (iv) address; (v) nationality; (vi) date from which the entity has Final Beneficiary status; (vii) main activity of the legal entity.

The Law classifies as final beneficiaries, that or those natural persons who own or control 25% or more of the shares or right to vote in a legal person, or who owns, controls or exercises significant influence over contracts and businesses, or the natural person in whose name or benefit a transaction is made.

Said information must be registered in the Single System within a maximum term of thirty (30) business days following the constitution of the legal person, the designation of a new resident agent.

The legal representative of any legal entity must provide the information required to identify the final beneficiary, as well must notify its resident agent of any variation in the information of its final beneficiary within a maximum term of thirty (30) business days following the date of the variation, in order for the agent to carry out the due update within a maximum term of thirty (30) business days following the date on which such information was received.

The Resident Agent will be obliged to resign if the client does not provide the information required to complete their due diligence in the period indicated.

As of the promulgation of the Law, the Resident Agents will have a term of six (6) months from the date in which the Superintendence communicates that the Private and Unique System of Final Beneficiaries is enabled for their access, to comply with the obligation to register the information of the Final Beneficiaries of legal entities. Alida Benedetti Partner CENTRAL LAW Panama.

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