RBO Updates for 2023 & Changes to how Designated Persons access the platform

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| Sinead Gortland

There were significant changes in 2022 to the RBO, we’re going to take a look at these changes and how they are impacting us in 2023.

In November last year, while we were at our busiest with tax deadlines and CRO deadlines – the entire process of filing on the RBO and pulling RBO reports changed! Based on the number of enquiries we received, everyone was distressed by it.

Due to a recent decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), public access to the RBO was restricted. Prior to November 2022, under SI 110/2019, there was two-tier access to the RBO platform. The first tier was to relevant entities, for example, the Gardai, FIU, Central Bank, etc. The second tier was for designated persons and the general public.

In November 2022, two separate cases were brought before the Luxemburg courts by a Luxembourg Company and its beneficial owners where requests were made to restrict public access to certain beneficial ownership information. The Luxemburg Courts then referred back to the Court of Justice of the European Union which ruled that a provision under AMLD4, as amended by AMLD5, which granted the public access to the personal information of beneficial owners to be invalid in the light of Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Ultimately, it was found that the general public’s access to information on beneficial ownership constituted a serious interference with the fundamental rights in respect of a private life and the protection of personal data.

Following this, on the 28th of November, the RBO notified users the search facility was suspended and in the subsequent weeks the RBO worked to give named persons only access back to the platform.

For a designated person as defined under S.25 of CJA2010, as amended, to regain access to the RBO Register to access the RBO reports as required by AMLD5 and S.33 of CJA 2010, the RBO will need to receive a completed BEN3A1 Designated Persons Administration Declaration Form. The RBO will require a master account to act as an administrator account, and access to your teams will be provided by sub-accounts to that main account.

If you are looking to download that BEN3A1 form, you can grab it here and submit it to discrepancies at rbo.gov.ie with the subject line ‘Designated Persons Admin Form’. As discussed above you will also need to provide details on authorised users of your team from the table available at https://rbo.gov.ie/faqs/legal-obligations-of-dps/ben3a1-designated-persons.html

Please bear in mind that they are receiving a high volume of requests and so it may take a bit of time to receive your confirmation.

Here’s a quick tip, if you have set up your new account and are trying to work out how to pay for the RBO reports, your credit account may still be linked to your old account and not your new RBO designated persons account. To remedy this, you’ll need to contact the RBO and ask for it to be swapped over.

What’s on the Horizon?

The Council of the European Union has proposed provision for access to beneficial ownership information, by the public, should be on the basis of ‘legitimate interest’. Discussions and agreement of this draft legislation with the European Parliament are expected to be reached in the first half of 2023.

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About the Author

Sinead is a key member of the OmniPro Corporate Consultants Technical Support team providing advice and support in relation to Company Law and Company Secretarial procedures. In addition, Sinead is responsible for carrying out Section 343 applications to the District Court, Company Restorations, Annual Compliance, Company Conversions and Company Law Compliance. Sinead joined OmniPro in 2016 and quickly became an integral member of our Company Secretarial team. She started off her career in OmniPro as part of our Company Formations team building up her experience and knowledge before eventually moving into Company Secretarial. Sinead has a Masters Degree from Maynooth University.