COMPANIES (AMENDMENT) BILL 2017

INTRODUCTION

At the meeting of the Executive Council on 20 June 2017, the Council ADVISED and the Acting Chief Executive ORDERED that, to fulfil Hong Kong’s international obligations under the Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”), the Companies (Amendment) Bill 2017 (“the Bill”), at Annex, should be introduced into the Legislative Council (“LegCo”) to require a company incorporated in Hong Kong, unless otherwise exempted, (hereafter referred to as “an applicable company”) to –

(a) take reasonable steps to ascertain the individuals and legal persons that have significant control over the company (referred to as “significant controllers”), give notice to them, and obtain accurate and up-to-date information about their identities; and

(b) maintain a register of significant controllers of the company, containing required particulars of their identities, for inspection by law enforcement officers 1 upon demand.

See the proposed legal texts [read] and briefing to legislators [Read].

1 For the purpose of the Bill, a law enforcement officer is any of the following officers –

(a) an officer of the Companies Registry;

(b) an officer of the Customs and Excise Department;

(c) an officer of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority;

(d) an officer of the Hong Kong Police Force;

(e) an officer of the Immigration Department;

(f) an officer of the Inland Revenue Department;

(g) an officer of the Insurance Authority established under section 4AAA(1) of the Insurance Ordinance (Cap. 41);

(h) an officer of the Independent Commission Against Corruption established under section 3 of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Ordinance (Cap. 204);

(i) an officer of the Securities and Futures Commission referred to in section 3(1) of the Securities and Futures Commission Ordinance (Cap. 571); and

(j) an officer of any other Government department, Government agency or body established or constituted by or under an Ordinance, that is specified by the Financial Secretary by regulations made under new section 653ZG to be added to the Companies Ordinance by the Bill.