TALLINN, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Estonian parliament on Thursday passed a law to prevent money laundering and terrorism and make legal persons responsible for disclosing information regarding their actual beneficiaries.
All citizens will be responsible for knowing their actual beneficiaries and disclosing information about them, which can be viewed electronically via the Central Commercial Register once the relevant provisions enter into force in the future, according to a press release.
There are approximately 120,000 such people in Estonia who must file information regarding actual beneficiaries in the country's information systems, it added.
Previously, only credit and financial institutions were held responsible for identifying actual beneficiaries in the framework of conducting customer background checks, it was learned.
The new law will grant tax authorities access to information concerning an entrepreneur's actual beneficiary to enable the more efficient checking of information pertaining to financial accounts, among other things, it added.
An automatic centralized mechanism will enter into force in 2019 to enable investigative bodies to quickly identify owners of bank and payment accounts.
The law will also increase the ceiling of the pecuniary fine issued for not implementing measures to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism, which will increase from the current 32,000 euros (about 37,440 U.S. dollars) to up to 40,000 euros.
The ceiling of large sums of cash will be decreased from 15,000 euros to 10,000 euros. All traders must implement due diligence in the case of such sums of cash.
A one-year transition period is intended for the obligated persons for the implementation of new requirements.
The date of entry into force of both provisions is Sept. 1, 2018 and Jan. 1, 2019 respectively.