A beneficial owner in respect of a company means the natural person(s) who directly or indirectly ultimately owns or controls the corporate entity.
As per the EITI 2016 report, it is recommended that implementing companies a publicly available register of beneficial owners of the corporate entities including their identities, level of ownership and control is exerted. Where possible, beneficial ownership information should be incorporated in existing fillings by companies to corporate regulators, stock exchanges or agencies regulating extractive industry licensing. Where this information is already publicly available, the EITI Report should include guidance on how to access this information.
It is required that:
i. The EITI Report documents the government’s policy and multi-stakeholder group’s discussion on disclosure of beneficial ownership. This should include details of the relevant legal provisions, actual disclosure practices and any reforms that are planned or underway related to beneficial ownership disclosure.
ii. By 1 January 2017, the multi-stakeholder group publishes a roadmap for disclosing beneficial ownership information . The multi-stakeholder group will determine all milestones and deadlines in the roadmap, and the multi-stakeholder group will evaluate implementation of the roadmap as part of the multi-stakeholder group’s annual progress report.
iii. As of 1 January 2020, it is required that implementing countries request, and companies disclose, eneficial ownership information for inclusion in the EITI Report. This applies to corporate entity(ies) that bid for, operate or invest in extractive assets and should include the identity(ies) of their beneficial owner(s), the level of ownership and details about how ownership or control is exerted. Any gaps or weaknesses in reporting on beneficial ownership information must be disclosed in the EITI Report, including naming any entities that failed to submit all or parts of the beneficial ownership information.
iv. Information about the identity of the beneficial owner should include the name of the beneficial owner, the nationality, and the country of residence, as well as identifying any politically exposed persons. It is also recommended that the national identity number, date of birth, residential or service address, and means of contact are disclosed.
v. The multi-stakeholder group should agree an approach for participating companies assuring the accuracy of the beneficial ownership information they provide. This could include requiring companies to attest the beneficial ownership declaration form through sign off by a member of the senior management team or senior legal counsel, or submit supporting documentation.