Introduction Of New Information Obligations Applicable To Companies And Trusts Which Operate In Costa Rica

Author:Mr Claudio Antonio Donato Lopez
Profession:Zurcher, Odio & Raven

On April 23, 2018, the Executive Branch issued and published The Regulations of the Transparency and Final Beneficiaries Registry (hereinafter the "Regulations"). The Regulations introduce new obligations related to the provision of information. These obligations apply to most companies and other legal structures which operate in Costa Rica.

The Regulations are part of Costa Rica's actions to follow the recommendations issued by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), to control money laundering and fulfill the country's commitments with other nations, in relation to the exchange of tax information.  These Regulations are highly relevant for almost all entities operating in Costa Rica, and this article, under a Q&A format aims to provide a clear understanding of the changes introduced and the current legal status regarding its implementation and enforcement.

  1. What is the object of the Regulations?

    To establish how will the Transparency and Final Beneficiaries Registry (hereinafter the "Registry") operate. The Registry was created to provide more information and increase the state control over corporate structures and the final beneficiaries of those structures, with the purpose to mitigate money laundering and tax evasion.

  2. Which entities are obliged to comply with the Regulations?

    All corporate structures and entities which are domiciled in Costa Rica. This definition encompasses: 1) Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Branches, etc.; 2) Administrators of third party resources; 3) Non-profit organizations; 4) Private trusts.

    The following entities are not subject to compliance of the obligations set forth by the Regulations: a) Companies which are listed in a local or foreign stock exchange, b) Public Trusts, c) entities under the supervision of the Financial Superintendence, and d) Public Institutions.

  3. What are the new obligations created by the Regulations?

    In general terms, providing to the Registry, information of the final beneficiaries of each legal structure. The specific information will vary depending on each entity and shall be clearly specified in a Joint Resolution (hereinafter the "Joint Resolution") to be issued by the Ministry of Finance and the Costa Rican Drugs Institute. Nonetheless, in general terms the information to be provided is the following:

    Companies: Information about the different stock participations and final beneficiaries. Also...

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