Current Commitments

9. Register for ultimate beneficial ownership

Norway
Start Date: Not Specified  |  End Date: Not Specified

Year Action Plan

2016

Support Institution

  • Administration
  • Ministry of Trade
  • Industry and Fisheries Civil society TJN (Tax and De Samarbeidende Organisasjoner (The Cooperating Organisations)) Working Groups Money Laundering Law Committee Others

Lead Institution

  • Ministry of Finance

Background: It is important to obtain knowledge about who has beneficial ownership in companies. Information about shareholders is currently publicly available, but there is not necessarily transparency about the underlying beneficial owners. It is important to clarify who should have access to information about beneficial owners and what kind of information should be provided. Investigate, send for consultation and promote proposals for a publicly accessible register with information about the beneficial owners in Norwegian companies. Status quo or problem/issue to be addressed: Parliament has asked the government to bring a proposal for a Norwegian public ownership registry to ensure transparency of ownership in Norwegian businesses and to strengthen efforts against tax crime, corruption and money laundering. It is understood that such a registry should follow the Financial Action Task Forces’ recommendations from 2012 on international standards for combating money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of WMD, as well as EU regulations in this area. Government has appointed a commission to consider changes to Norwegian legislation in order to follow the Financial Action Task Forces’ recommendations and the EU’s fourth Money Laundering Directive. The committee second interim report, which includes an assessment of how ultimate beneficial ownership shall be made public, will be presented in autumn 2016. The report will be sent for general consultation and input from civil society will be considered. In parallel with this work, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries and the Ministry of Finance will work together to facilitate access to information on beneficial ownership in Norwegian limited liability companies. A consultative document with various solution proposals was sent for consultation in winter 2016. Main Objective: The purpose is to increase access to information about who owns and who has a controlling interest in Norwegian companies, as well as to follow up on our international obligations through the Financial Action Task Forces and our EEA membership. Openness about who owns companies are an important tool to combat corruption, money laundering, tax evasion and other economic crimes, while also helping to promote economic efficiency. Brief Description of Commitment (140 character limit): Investigate, send for consultation and promote proposals for a publicly accessible register with information about the ultimate beneficial owners in Norwegian companies. Relevance: A publicly accessible register with information about (direct) shareholders and ultimate beneficial ownership will facilitate access to information that is relevant to combat economic crime, both for public bodies, private actors and civil society. Ambition: A publicly accessible register with information about direct shareholders and ultimate beneficial owners of Norwegian companies will strengthen the work of public authorities and civil society in their efforts to combat economic crime and will make it easier for banks and other actors who have reporting obligations under the money laundering legislation.

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