RGD set to begin beneficial ownership data collection

Madam Jemima Oware, Registrar General

The Registrar General Department (RGD) will soon communicate timelines for all companies to begin collecting beneficial ownership data of its members and subsequently submit them to the RGD for updating of its electronic registry.

Currently, the upgrade of an electronic registrar system is at an advanced stage of completion to enable it receive beneficial ownership data from companies. This is one of the measures being executed by the Department in readiness for the collection of data towards establishing a transparent and informative beneficial ownership regime.

Aside this, the RGD has designed forms to facilitate the collection of beneficial ownership data as well as a series of sensitization programmes being rolled out targeting some specific sectors and industries in order to limit implementation gaps and challenges.

The current Companies’ Act, 2019 is expected to streamline the corporate regulatory framework to contribute immensely in ensuring transparency in the ease of doing business in the country as well as assisting authorities to counteract money laundering, tax evasion, and stemming of illicit financial flows.

A key plan of the Act is the development of an electronic company registry to ensure an improvement in the collection of and access to beneficial ownership data.

However, where a person fails to provide the information required or gives false and misleading information, it will be deemed as an offence liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than fifty penalty units and not more than two hundred and fifty penalty units. Such persons can also face imprisonment for not less than one year and not more than two years or even both fines and imprisonment.

Where a company defaults in complying, it is liable to pay an administrative penalty of twenty five penalty units for each day beginning from the first day the offence was committed. In monetary value, twenty five penalty units is equivalent to GHc300.00.