Earlier this year, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (“MOCI”) in Kuwait issued Ministerial Resolution No.4 of 2023 (“the Resolution”) setting out an obligation for the identification of ultimate beneficial owners (“UBO”). The Resolution applies to all entities registered in the State of Kuwait, unless specifically exempted. Immediately after the Resolution was issued, questions started being raised, in particular by foreign investors, in respect of the process for such a disclosure, filing requirements etc. . While MOCI went silent for a period of six months (except for one minor amendment to the Resolution), it wasn’t until last week that a follow up decision named “Procedure No 1” (“Decision”) was made directing entities subject to the Resolution to register their UBOs with MOCI’ electronic portal.
The Decision reads as follow “In accordance with Ministerial Resolution No. 4/2023 concerning the determination of the ultimate beneficial ownership of any business, and pursuant to Article 4 of the said resolution, business owners are asked to register statements pertaining to the ultimate beneficial owner through the electronic portal of the commercial registry within one month from the issuance date of this decision.”
Therefore, unless exempted by the Resolution, every Kuwaiti company and/or business must disclose its UBOs register to the MOCI through the MOCI’s electronic portal.
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