News - Temporary suspension of the Luxembourg RBE’s data consultation

The Ministry of Justice, in consultation with the Luxembourg Business Registers (“LBR”) has temporarily suspended, as of 22 November 2022, the access to the Luxembourg Effective Beneficial Owners Register (Registre des Bénéficiaires Effectifs or “RBE”) data through the LBR website.

This decision has been taken further to a judgment of 22 November 2022 of the Court of Justice of the European Union (Grand Chamber) (the “Court”) that partly invalidated the fifth anti-money laundering European directive of 30 May 2018[1] (the “Directive”).

Pursuant to the Directive, Member States were required to make information on the beneficial owners of companies and other legal entities incorporated in their territory accessible to the general public.

The Court considered that this access (without distinction of quality of the users) to the beneficial owners’ information constitutes a serious interference with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the personal data protection, enshrined in articles 7 and 8 respectively of the charter dated 26 October 2012[2] as it allows anyone to find out about the material and financial situation of a beneficial owner.

In this case, the issue is essentially that the desired transparency cannot be achieved at the expense of the security of individuals' identities and personal data. The designed “public access” to the data has therefore been considered to go beyond what is strictly necessary and proportional to the objective pursued.

A solution which will grant access to the RBE’s data to professionals, as defined in article 2 of the amended law of 12 November 2004[3] (e.g., the credit institutions and professionals of the financial sector, statutory auditors, lawyers etc…) should be communicated shortly by the Ministry of Justice.

In the meantime, RBE registrations and modifications may still be performed through the LBR website.

 

[1] Directive (EU) 2018/843 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 amending Directive (EU) 2015/849 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing and amending Directives 2009/138/EC and 2013/36/EU.

[2] Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, 26 October 2012, 2012/C 326/02.

[3] Law of 12 November 2004 on the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing transposing Directive 2001/97/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 December 2001 amending Council Directive 91/308/EEC on prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering.

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