The Commission has reported to the Council on whether Member States have identified trusts and similar arrangements and made them subject to the provisions of MLD4. It notes that 3 lists have been published, and from these:
- 16 Member States said there were no such vehicles governed by their laws;
- 3 Member States and the UK said trusts are governed under their legal systems;
- 3 Member States said that trusts are recognised in their territories;
- 7 Member States notified similar arrangements based on their national laws; and
- 2 Member States notified legal arrangements not expressly regulated but based on the general principle of autonomy of contracting parties and delimited by jurisprudence and doctrine.
The report examines the types of vehicle notified and said that relevant member states have generally adopted laws requiring them to get information on beneficial ownership, although some rules are not yet in force. Some said they would require information from overseas arrangements. Overall, though, most did not provide enough information for the Commission to form a clear picture.
The Commission generally notes that the lack of a common approach to identifying relevant arrangements does not ensure legal certainty and a level playing field, and it does not appear there is any consistent monitoring and registration framework. It also noted that levels of transparency of beneficial ownership of funds appear to differ between Member States. It is considering setting up a group to identify consistent criteria for defining relevant vehicles and having a bespoke regime for funds.