Excerpts from the Register
Since 2 May 2018, obliged entities have been able to access simplified and extended excerpts from the Register of Beneficial Owners via the Federal Unternehmensserviceportal. Learn how to correctly interpret excerpts from the Register and how these excerpts will facilitate the fulfilment of your due diligence requirements for the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing in the future.
The primary purpose of the Register of Beneficial Owners is the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing. Therefore, the excerpts from the Register were designed to make it significantly easier to identify and verify the beneficial owners of customers of obliged entities.
Now, it is possible to identify and verify the beneficial owners of customers with an Austrian corporate structure, which have a low or medium risk of money laundering, based on a complete extended excerpt from the Register. In such cases, it will often be possible to identify and verify the beneficial owners of a customer/client as part of an initial interview. This will apply to a large number of the customers of companies that are obliged to meet due diligence requirements (obliged entities). The measures implemented to verify for completeness and adequacy will also significantly improve the quality of the information about the beneficial owners of their customers computed by the obliged entities.
In the future, obliged entities will be able to access two different officially signed excerpts from the Register via the Federal Unternehmensserviceportal:
- Simplified excerpts pursuant to Article 9 para. 4 BORA
- Extended excerpts pursuant to Article 9 para. 5 BORA
Simplified excerpts offer a solid overview of the beneficial owners of a legal entity. They contain general information, such as name and legal form as well as addresses and identification register numbers (e.g. Commercial Register number) and enable the identification of economic activities with the aid of the ÖNACE classification (e.g. C13.20-0 Weaving). In addition, such excerpts contain all relevant data regarding the direct and indirect owners, including the nature and scope of the beneficial interest.
Examples of simplified excerpts from the Register:
- Simplified excerpt regarding a limited liability company that is exempt from reporting
- Simplified excerpt regarding a simple multi-level structure with reported beneficial owners
In addition to the data contained in the simplified excerpts, extended excerpts contain the following information:
- Information on whether this constitutes a complete extended excerpt; this is the case if all the data is complete, the reported data matches the electronically generated data and there is no valid remark
- A depiction of the relevant participation structure, established based on the data in the Commercial Register
- The computed beneficial owners and ultimate legal entities, determined on the basis of the data in the Commercial Register, the Register of Associations and the Supplementary Register
Example of an electronically generated graphical illustration of the relevant participation structure:
Examples for extended excerpts from the Register:
- Complete extended excerpt regarding a legal entity that is exempt from reporting
- Complete extended excerpt regarding a legal entity that is exempt from reporting (with explanations)
- Complete extended excerpt regarding a basic multi-level structure with reported beneficial owners
- Complete extended excerpt regarding a basic multi-level structure with reported beneficial owners (with explanations)
- Extended excerpt regarding a legal entity with a complex domestic structure with two private foundations
- Extended excerpt with reported trusteeship with a limited liability company that is exempt from reporting
The sample excerpts from the Federal Ministry of Finance may be used for training purposes.
Identifying and verifying beneficial owners with the aid of extended excerpts from the Register
Companies to which the due diligence requirements for the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing apply are now obliged to identify and verify the beneficial owners of their customers. This applies to all customers that are not natural persons. If the customer is an Austrian legal entity pursuant to Article 1 para. 2 BORA, the beneficial owners of the customer can be identified and verified with the aid of extended excerpts from the Register. The prerequisites for this for all obliged entities are governed by Article 11 BORA:
- There is a complete extended excerpt. This is the case when the computed beneficial owners match the reported beneficial owners and there is no valid remark. Example of a complete extended excerpt.
- There are no factors indicating an increased risk.
- The obliged entity has made inquiries of the customer to ensure that there are no control structures or trust relationships that differ from the extended excerpt. These inquiries can also be incorporated into the existing process for establishing business relationships by including this question in the customer questionnaire.
If the obliged entity is convinced that the beneficial owners listed in the excerpt are correct, no additional documents are necessary to verify their identities.
In all the remaining cases, the extended excerpts from the Register are an ideal starting point for identifying the beneficial owners due to the graphic depiction of the relevant levels of participation. In this case, suitable additional measures must be taken to verify the beneficial owners, which, e.g., may consist of excerpts of higher level legal entities.
Article 17 BORA provides that usage fees shall be charged for inspections of the Register to cover costs. It is possible to pay a flat-rate usage fee for a certain allotment of excerpts or to pay an individual charge for each excerpt. The amount of the usage fee was established by the Regulation of the Federal Minister of Finance establishing fees for the use of the Register of Beneficial Owners (BORA Usage Fees Regulation V), Federal Law Gazette II 77/2018:
With individual charges, the fee for accessing each individual excerpt is paid in advance. For one excerpt, the fees are as follows:
- Simplified excerpt (Article 9 para. 4 BORA) EUR 3.00
- Extended excerpt (Article 9 para. 5 BORA) EUR 3.60
- Excerpt where there is a legitimate interest (Article 10 BORA) EUR 50.00
Flat-Rate Usage Fee
As an alternative to the individual charge, obliged entities can also pay a flat-rage usage fee pursuant to Article 9 para. 1 BORA. There are five different fee categories, which each entitle the user to a different number of excerpts.
The following allotments are available:
- 50 simplified or extended excerpts EUR 130
- 250 simplified or extended excerpts EUR 600
- 750 simplified or extended excerpts EUR 1,650
- 2,500 simplified or extended excerpts EUR 5,250
- 7,500 simplified or extended excerpts EUR 15,000
Important point: The flat rate usage fee entitles the user to access the excerpts included in the allotment within one year of requesting the flat rate. Allotments not used by the end of the calendar year are forfeited and there is no pro rata refund (Article 2 para. 3 BORA, Usage Fee Regulation).
A notice will be sent one month before the expiration of the current usage period or when at least 85 percent of the allotment has been used. After receiving this letter, a new flat rate can be agreed upon. In this case, the new usage period begins when the current usage period expires or when the allotment is completely used up, depending on which occurs first.
The BORA Management System handles purchases of flat rate allotments, allotment management and utilisation of the access function for simplified and extended excerpts.