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02 December 2023

ADGM publishes amendments to its Beneficial Ownership and Control Regulations

Published
By WAM

 Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the international financial centre in Abu Dhabi has issued an updated version of the Beneficial Ownership and Control Regulations 2022 (BOC Regulations), which repealed and replaced the existing Beneficial Ownership and Control Regulations 2018.

These new BOC Regulations aim to ensure that ADGM remains aligned with the requirements of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as well as the federal requirements for anti-money laundering, counter-terrorism financing and financing of illegal organisations and beneficial ownership.

The key enhancements under the BOC Regulations include but are not limited to, clarifying the cascade approach for identifying beneficial owners of ADGM entities (as recommended by FATF and OECD), clarifying that the location of the trustee (rather than the applicable law of the trust) will determine the scope of application of the relevant regulations, imposing duties on ADGM entities related to updating the record of beneficial owners upon a change of ownership in the entity along with identifying and maintaining a record of nominee directors and persons on whose behalf each nominee director acts.

A transition period has been introduced to allow time for existing ADGM entities to rectify and update their records of beneficial owners and nominee directors (if any) as well as update the required particulars and implement other regulatory changes. Accordingly, the BOC Regulations take effect at the date of its publication for new ADGM entities and six (6) months from the date of its publication for existing ADGM entities.

Commenting on the new Regulations and Rules, Hamad Sayah Al Mazrouei, Chief Executive Officer of the ADGM Registration Authority, said, “The enhancement of transparency and accountability both at a national level and globally in conjunction with other regulatory bodies is key to ADGM. We have taken significant steps to implement relevant international standards on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of Terrorism and illegal organisations. ADGM’s Registration Authority monitors these standards and remains strongly committed to assisting the UAE to fulfil its obligations as part of the international community.”

“We look forward to implementing this enhanced legislative framework which will boost investors’ confidence in ADGM, one of the world’s largest international financial districts, and its robust legislative framework,” he added.

The enacted versions of the regulations issued by ADGM can be viewed through this link.