Netherlands: Issues concerning Dutch UBO registry | KPMG | GLOBAL
Share with your friends

Netherlands: Issues concerning Dutch “ultimate beneficial owner” registry

Netherlands: Issues concerning Dutch UBO registry

A bill to implement the “ultimate beneficial owner” (UBO) registry in the Netherlands is expected to be presented soon, but given a recent decision of the French Constitutional Court, there are questions for the Dutch government to consider with regards to a publicly available UBO registry.


Related content

The French Constitutional Court (Cour Constitutionnel) in October 2016 held that a public registry—where data from certain trusts with ties to France are recorded—was in conflict with the French Constitution, and in particular with Article 2 of the Declaration of the Rights of Man (Déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen) dating from 1789. 

A U.S. resident of France had initiated the proceedings because she believed that the publication of her personal data in the public registry compromised her privacy. The French court basically agreed, and declared the public registry was unconstitutional. Accordingly, the data is no longer publicly accessible.

Dutch UBO registry

What are the implications of the judgment by the French Constitutional Court for the Dutch “ultimate beneficial owner” (UBO) registry, and the rule that all EU Member States must implement by virtue of the fourth European Anti-Money Laundering Directive? While the French judgment has no legal force in the Netherlands, it may nevertheless foster the idea that a publicly accessible UBO registry is not necessarily consistent with Dutch law. A bill to implement the UBO registry is expected in the Netherlands shortly. Earlier this year, the Ministry of Finance announced that the Dutch UBO registry would be publicly accessible. 

KPMG observation

The Dutch government may need to consider how to limit access to the UBO registry to persons that have no legitimate interest. Without this, it does not necessarily appear that such a public registry would be permissible. In addition, there is a question as to whether the Netherlands would want to introduce a public UBO registry when a country (like France) has deemed a similar registry with such a public character to violate the fundamental rights of French citizens. 


Read an October 2016 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in the Netherlands: French Constitutional Court: public trust registry is in conflict with the French Constitution

The KPMG logo and name are trademarks of KPMG International. KPMG International is a Swiss cooperative that serves as a coordinating entity for a network of independent member firms. KPMG International provides no audit or other client services. Such services are provided solely by member firms in their respective geographic areas. KPMG International and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing contained herein shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, agents, partners, or joint venturers. No member firm has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind KPMG International or any member firm in any manner whatsoever. The information contained in herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation. For more information, contact KPMG's Federal Tax Legislative and Regulatory Services Group at: + 1 202 533 4366, 1801 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006.

Connect with us


Request for proposal