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Offshore Companies Disclosure Bill


A bill was submitted to the State Duma introducing the requirement of mandatory disclosure of information about the founders (participants) and beneficiaries of offshore companies when registering with the Unified State Register of Legal Entities (initiated by deputies G. Zyuganov and others).

Without disclosing this information and registering with the USRLE an offshore company will not have the right:

  1. to act as a founder (participant) in Russian business companies and partnerships;

  2. carry out its activities in the territory of the Russian Federation, including conclude transactions with Russian companies, acquire property in ownership, etc.

These procedural requirements are based on the relevant amendments proposed by a separate draft federal law “On Amending the Civil Code of the Russian Federation”, namely, to introduce new rules in article 49 and article 1202 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation that also regulates the personal law of a legal entity relations between the beneficiary and the nominal shareholder of the legal entity, including the rights of the beneficiary in relation to the property of the legal entity (beneficial ownership).

In order to limit the legal capacity of offshore companies to participate in civil and arbitration proceedings, the bill proposes to consolidate in the procedural legislation the norms that are already partially used in judicial practice. In particular, a legal entity acting as a plaintiff or defendant, registered in a state (territory), which does not provide for disclosure and provision of information on beneficiaries, beneficial owners and controlling persons is obliged to provide documents confirming the fact of beneficial ownership and control in relation to such legal entity from beneficiaries, beneficial owners and controlling persons. Such a document is a trust agreement, a trust declaration, a contract for the provision of nominee services or another similar document. A refusal to disclose relevant information as well as a failure to provide supporting documents will result in leaving the statement of claim without movement and if these shortcomings are not eliminated the statement of claim will be returned and the plaintiff will be denied legal defense. Failure to provide the indicated information and documents by the defendant will entail corresponding unfavorable legal consequences for him.


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