German Transparency Register Update
In our blog post of November 23, 2022, we discussed the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) of November 22, 2022 (Case C-37/20, C-601/20), according to which the provision in the 5th EU Money Laundering Directive that information on the beneficial owners of EU-based companies is accessible to all members of the public in all cases is invalid.
Against the background of the aforementioned ruling, the German Transparency Register has now communicated on December 12, 2022 that the inspection of the register requests pursuant to Section 23 (1) Sentence 1 No. 3 GWG can no longer be granted unconditionally, but only in consideration of the legal situation following the ECJ ruling as well as the rights affected by an inspection in the individual case.
With regard to the legal situation that applied prior to the entry into force of the annulled provisions of Directive (EU) 2018/843 and which must be used in the context of an interpretation of the GWG provisions in conformity with EU law, the Transparency Register is of the opinion that inspection continues to be possible in cases in which the legitimate interest in inspection by members of the public is demonstrated. Due to these circumstances, members of the public must now justify and present a request for inspection when submitting the request.
Irrespective of this restriction on inspection, it should be examined in individual cases whether it is not also advisable for beneficial owners to submit an application for restriction of inspection pursuant to Section 23 (2) sentence 1 GwG.