Decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union regarding public access to the UBO Registry of legal entities

Written by Stelios Spiliotis
25 November, 2022

In a decision published on 22 November 2022, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) invalidated a provision of the 5th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive that guaranteed public access to information on companies’ real owners. The case was sent to the CJEU from a Luxembourg court after challenges to the Luxembourg Business Registers, which disputed the compatibility of this provision with the right to privacy.

Based on the Judgement of the Court, Article 1(15)(c) of Directive (EU) 2018/843 which provides for the information on the beneficial ownership to be accessible in all cases to any member of the public, is invalid. It is highlighted that the invalidity concerns only the provisions on public access and not the obligation to collect, submit and update UBO information on the Registry, which are still in force.

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