56 JURIDICA INTERNATIONAL 26/2017
University of Tartu
Similar to Trusts in
Estonia under the EU’s
To identify terrorists and money-launderers hiding behind legal entities or arrangements, EU Directive
2015/849*1 (4AMLD) introduced the ‘UBO register’. In consequence, all Member States (MSs) have to
establish a central register containing data on ultimate beneﬁ cial owners (UBOs)*2 of corporate legal enti-
ties and also of trusts and legal arrangements similar to trusts (hereinafter ‘SAs’).
However, before 4AMLD was transposed into the national law of the various MSs, amendments to it –
referred to by the name ‘5AMLD’ and begun with the European Commission’s ‘Proposal for a Directive of the
European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive (EU) 2015/849 on the prevention of the use
of the ﬁ nancial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist ﬁ nancing and amending Directive
2009/101/EC of 5 July 2016’ (referred to below as ‘the Proposal’) – were already on the table*3. The ﬁ nal
tex t of 5AMLD has not yet been agreed on, but it seems rather likely that it is going to usher in some seri-
ous changes pertaining to trusts and SAs. Inter alia, it probably will list such contractual devices as ﬁ ducie,
Treuhand, and ﬁ deicomiso as examples of SAs*4. The 4AMLD terms explicitly speciﬁ ed only foundations
Directive / of the European Parliament and of the Council of May on the prevention of the use of the
ﬁ nancial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist ﬁ nancing, amending Regulation (EU) No / of
the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Directive //EC of the European Parliament and of the
Council and Commission Directive //EC, .., L /.
Generally, ‘any natural person who exercises ownership or control over a legal entity’ (Recital ); more precise deﬁ nitions
are given in articles (on corporations) and (on trusts and SAs).
Available at http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com///
COM_COM()_EN.pdf (most recently accessed on ..). Since the release of the proposal, the Council of the
EU has published several Presidency compromise texts amending and updating it. Additional parliamentary meetings and
various counterproposals have contributed to the compromise texts. Several committees have reviewed the amendments – e.g.,
the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Economic and Monetary Aﬀ airs and Civil Liberties (EMACL)
committees. After the vote by the EMACL group, the European Parliament gave the go-ahead, at the March plenary session,
to start negotiations among said parliament, the Commission, and the Council on the details for the legislation. Voting in
the European Parliament's plenary session is tentatively scheduled for October . See http://www.europarl.europa.eu/
oeil/popups/ﬁ cheprocedure.do?reference=/(COD)&l=en (most recently accessed on ..).
See the Proposal (see Note )’s p. , proposed Recital (p. ), and proposed amendments to Article (p. ).