The Register of Overseas Entities opened today. It is the first stage of implementing new rules under the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 that require overseas entities wishing to acquire UK land to disclose details of their beneficial owners on a new public register. The new rules also require overseas entities that already own land in England or Wales which was acquired in the last 20 years to disclose details of their beneficial owners. The new rules are of particular relevance to investors, in and lenders to, UK real estate, and the briefing considers what steps investors should be taking now to comply with the new registration requirements.
It has been confirmed by The Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 (Commencement No. 3) Regulations 2022 that the new rules are being implemented on a staggered basis. The Register of Overseas Entities opened today for overseas entities to electronically submit registration applications and the majority of the provisions of the Act relating to the operation of the new register came into force at the same time. However, the land registration aspects will not come into force until 5 September 2022 allowing overseas entities acquiring UK land a window to register on the Register of Overseas Entities before the land registration requirements take effect. This staggered implementation is good news for overseas entities who are currently negotiating purchases or new leases of UK land nevertheless such entities should begin preparing their registration applications now.