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Panama Publishes Law for Beneficial Ownership Registry

Panama published Law No. 129 of 17 March 2020 in the 20 March 2020 edition of the Official Gazette. The law provides for the creation of a registry of ultimate beneficial owners of legal entities. With the new registry, resident agents are required to register information on legal entities and their ultimate beneficial owners within 30 days of the entity's registration in the Public Registry of Panama or within 30 days of the date the agent is appointed. Changes in information must also be registered within 30 days of a change.

Failure to fulfill the register obligations will result in penalties of USD 1,000 to 5,000 for the agent, which may be increased by 10% for each day the failure continues up to six months. Legal entities may also be suspended from Panama's Public Register of companies if the resident agent fails to register the required information. In such cases, a legal entity will be allowed to change their resident agent in order to comply.

Law No. 129 entered into force on 21 March 2020, with certain final transitional rules, including that the Superintendence of Non-Financial Institutions is required to implement the required measures within six months. In this respect, the Superintendence is also required to issue a notification, after which resident agents will have six months to register the required information in respect of existing legal entities.

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