October 13th, 2023 Legal Updates

Implementation of Ultimate Beneficial Ownership Disclosure Requirement

The Kuwait Ministry of Commerce and Industry (“MOCI”) has informally confirmed to GLA & Co that it is set to begin enforcement of Resolution No. 4 of 2023 as amended (“Resolution”) governing disclosure of ultimate beneficial ownership (“UBO”). The Resolution came into force earlier this year, in April of 2023, but an enforcement mechanism had yet to be implemented on the ground.

MOCI is set to begin notifying Kuwaiti companies to promptly register their UBO information through the official MOCI online e-services portal of the Commercial Register Department at: <ereg.moci.gov.kw>. Companies will be expected to submit their UBO information within one month of notification, with the possibility of an additional one-month extension.

Failure to submit UBO information could lead to MOCI blocking companies from accessing their online portal and carrying out transactions including those related to their commercial licenses. A list of non-compliant companies will also be forwarded to the Department of Anti-Money Laundering with the risk of applying additional sanctions or penalties.

The UBO disclosure requirements aim to supplement and strengthen the legal and regulatory mechanisms already in place governing anti-money laundering in Kuwait. The requirements of the Resolution apply to all Kuwaiti companies except government-owned entities and those falling within the regulatory purview of the Kuwait Capital Markets Authority. The Resolution ultimately aims to elevate Kuwait’s business environment and align with international best practice and standards.

Authors: Dr. Julian Awwad (Legal Director), and Liana Rashid (Associate).

For further information, please contact Alex Saleh (alex.saleh@glaco.com) and Dr. Julian Awwad (julian.awwad@glaco.com).


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