Ordinance no. 233/2018 on the Legal Regime on the Beneficial Ownership Central Register

Ordinance no. 233/2018 regulates the Legal Regime of the Central Registry of the Beneficiary Effective (CRBE), approved by Law no. 89/2017, of August 21.

The CRBE consists of a database with sufficient, accurate and current information about the person or natural persons who, indirectly or through a third party, have the ownership or effective control of the entities subject to it, such as, associations, cooperatives, civil societies, among others, subject to Portuguese law or foreign law, that carry out an activity or practice an act or legal transaction in national territory that determines the obtaining of a taxpayer number in Portugal.

In broad terms, Ordinance No. 233/2018, of August 21 regulates the following aspects:

  1. The deadline for the submission of the first declaration on the effective beneficiaries of entities already established (until April 30, 2019, for entities subject to commercial registration and June 30, 2019, for other entities subject to the CRBE).
  2. The form and deadline of automatic communications of the information contained in the Central Registry of Companies and of the Tax Authority to CRBE;
  3. The circumstances indicating the quality of beneficial ownership;
  4. The manner in which the public information about the beneficiaries is made available; and
  5. The terms of the extraction of certificates and information from the CRBE.

In order to promote the fulfilment of the declarative obligations, compliance within the legal term is gratuitous.

Under the provisions of Law No. 89/2017, breach, by an entity subject to RCBE, of the obligation to maintain an updated record of the elements of identification of the beneficiary is punishable by a fine of up to €50,000.00.

Without prejudice to the application of the fine, entities that fail to comply with the declaratory obligations provided for in the CRBE are also prevented from, inter alia: (i) distributing profits or make advance pays on profits; (ii) enter into supply contracts, public works contracts or acquisitions of services and goods with the State, or (ii) compete for the concession of public services.