Legal Update – New AML Regulation in Slovakia
On 1 March 2018 the long awaited amendment to the existing Slovak Anti-money Laundering ("AML") legislation aiming to implement especially the 4th AML Directive was published in the official Slovak Collection of Laws ("Amendment"). The Amendment introduces in particular the following changes:
Obligation to maintain documentation on ultimate beneficiary owners ("UBOs") effective from 15 March 2018
Under the amended Slovak AML legislation, all legal entities (other than public administration entities) and special purpose assets arrangements without legal capacity (similar to trusts or funds) will be required to identify their UBOs and maintain accurate and current information on their beneficial ownership. This obligation shall not apply if the required information is already contained in a "verification document" in the Slovak Register of Public Sector Partners (the Register of Public Sector Partners was introduced in 2017, is publicly accessible and the UBOs of particular entities are registered therein). A fine up to EUR 200,000 may be imposed upon a failure to comply with this obligation.
Obligation to register UBOs effective from 1 November 2018 (final deadline for particular entities 31 December 2019)
- The information on the beneficial ownership of companies and other legal entities registered in the Commercial Register shall be registered in the respective Commercial Register. The registration of beneficial owners (i) of non-investment funds and non-profit organisations shall be handled by the respective district offices locally and (ii) of foundations shall be handled by the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic. This obligation is different from the obligation to register the UBOs with the Register of Public Sector Partners introduced in 2017. Deadlines for the registration of the UBOs are mentioned below.
- Starting from 1 November 2018 newly registered companies and other legal entities shall register their beneficial ownership information simultaneously with their registration with the respective register.
- Legal entities that will exist as of 31 October 2018 shall register the respective information until 31 December 2019.
- Exceptions: The obligation to register the respective information with the Commercial Register shall not apply in respect of entities, which are (i) public administration entities and (ii) entities listed on a regulated market that is subject to disclosure requirements pursuant to the applicable Slovak or EU law or subject to equivalent international standards.
- The registered information regarding the UBOs in the Commercial Register and particular other registers shall, in general, not be publicly accessible. However, specific authorized persons and entities (particular public authorities and institutions) including also obliged entities in specific cases shall be entitled to require the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic to be provided with the respective information on the ultimate beneficial ownership of the particular entity.
New obligations imposed upon obliged entities effective from 15 March 2017
Several changes have been introduced to the Slovak AML legislation, which are not the main topic of this legal update. Just a few of them are very generally summarised below.
- Significant changes to Customer Due Diligence have been introduced (e.g. the UBOs of clients shall be identified already in case of the basic Customer Due Diligence).
- Expanded definition of a PEP, which will be no longer limited to persons outside the Slovak Republic.
- Emphasis on a risk-based approach when exercising the AML duties.
- The appointed AML compliance officer must be (a member of) the statutory body or a manager employee having an opportunity to communicate directly with the statutory and supervisory body of the obliged entity and shall be granted specific competences and access to the required information.
This legal update has been prepared by ČECHOVÁ & PARTNERS solely for the purpose of general information and is not a legal advice. The information above is not comprehensive and the legal update only briefly outlines the respective legislative changes.
If you need our assistance in bringing your company into compliance with the amended law, or if you have any other questions, please feel free to contact your contact person in our law firm or Simona Haláková (firstname.lastname@example.org), partner heading the AML practice of the firm.
 Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2015 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing, amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Directive 2006/70/EC.
 Such as financial and credit institutions, auditors, external accountants and tax advisors, notaries and other independent legal professionals, real estate agents, providers of gambling services, legal entities and individuals – entrepreneurs making cash transactions exceeding EUR 10,000.