January 2018 - New Requirements on Hong Kong Companies come into force on 1 March 2018

On 24 January 2018, the Companies (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 (“Amendment Ordinance”) and the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 were endorsed by Legislative Council for the purposes of (1) increasing transparency in the beneficial ownership of Hong Kong companies and (2) extending the customer due diligence and relevant record-keeping requirements to designated non-financial businesses and professions in order to fulfill Hong Kong’s international obligations.

A new regime requiring Hong Kong companies under the Amendment Ordinance to obtain beneficial ownership information, and to keep and maintain Significant Controllers Registers will come into operation on 1 March 2018 without a grace period.

The Companies Registry also announced on 25 January 2018 that a new licensing regime for trust and company service providers (“TCSPs”) will come into force on 1 March 2018 under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance (Cap. 615) (“AMLO”).

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