Global Forum secretariat holds second virtual conference on the availability of beneficial ownership information


29/05/2020 - The second virtual conference on the availability of information on the beneficial owners of legal entities and arrangements and bank accounts was organised by the Global Forum secretariat jointly with the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF). This conference was organised for English speaking countries in Africa following the success of the first virtual conference for French speaking countries in Africa held on 8 and 14 April 2020.

The conference, held on 27, 28 and 29 May 2020 brought together 200 delegates from 17 countries (Botswana, Cabo Verde, Cameroun, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Kingdom of Eswatini, Lesotho, Liberia, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania).

The virtual conference built upon the Beneficial Ownership Implementation Toolkit that was published jointly by the Global Forum and the Inter-American Development Bank in March 2019. The virtual event aimed at offering practical sessions to discuss the different options for implementing an effective beneficial ownership transparency regime, from a legal and organisational point of view, taking into consideration diverse realities and contexts.

More specifically, the virtual conference:

  • Facilitated discussions on the definition of beneficial ownership and explained the transparency requirements of the international standards, especially the Global Forum’s standards;
  • Facilitated discussions on the various possible legislative and regulatory approaches to ensure the availability of information on beneficial owners;
  • Facilitated discussions on the interaction between AML/CFT legislation, tax legislation, company law and other national legislation on the availability of information on beneficial owners;
  • Shared the experience of jurisdictions whose beneficial ownership systems have been found effective by the Global Forum’s peer reviews; and
  • Enabled participating countries to discuss the next steps in the implementation of the transparency of beneficial owners in their respective countries.

During the COVID-19 health crisis, the Global Forum Secretariat continues to work to strengthen the capacity of its members. New virtual workshops will be organized in the coming weeks on different themes related to exchange of information.

The Global Forum is the leading multilateral body mandated to ensure that jurisdictions around the world adhere to and effectively implement both the standard of transparency and exchange of information on request and the standard of automatic exchange of information. These objectives are achieved through a robust monitoring and peer review process. The Global Forum also runs an extensive technical assistance programme to support its members in implementing the standards and help tax authorities make the best use of cross-border information sharing channels.

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