As a result of the European regulations fighting money-laundering and terrorist financing the Dutch Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act (‘Act’) applies to the services provided by lawyers, attorneys, notaries, tax advisors and accountants. Under this Act we must identify our clients prior to providing services. We are also required to notify unusual (financial) transactions to the Financial Intelligence Unit Nederland. We are not allowed to inform the client about such notification. Non-compliance with the Act may result in criminal prosecution against our staff.
Domestic legal entities may be identified by means of an extract from the commercial register or a notarial deed. The identity of foreign legal entities may be ascertained by means of an extract from the commercial register of the country of origin or other documents commonly used in international trade, which have been recognized by law as a valid means of identification in the country of origin. We are furthermore required to register the names and dates of birth of the representatives of the legal entity.
Exceptions apart, the ultimate beneficial owners of domestic and foreign legal entities must be identified as well. The ultimate beneficial owner is the natural person who, directly or indirectly, owns more than 25% of or otherwise controls the client.
The identity of natural persons will be established by reference to, for instance, their passports. Foreign clients who qualify as politically exposed persons will be subjected to enhanced due diligence.