Будет ли Кипр предоставлять больше информации в Россию? Комментарии специалистов Amond & Smith Ltd (декабрь 2008)
Amond & Smith Ltd (декабрь 2008)
Считаем необходимым дать наши официальные разъяснения касательно недавнего распространения некоторыми российскими СМИ информации о том, что между государственными органами России и Республики Кипр было заключено соглашение, которое, помимо прочего, предусматривает возможность раскрытия информации о конечных владельцах кипрских компаний по запросу уполномоченных российских государственных органов (в юридической практике их принято называть бенефициарами компаний).
Настоящим сообщаем, что информация относительно такой возможности не соответствует действительности, по крайней мере, в части большинства зарегистрированных на Кипре закрытых акционерных компаний (так называемых Private Companies Limited by Shares), широко используемых в налоговом планировании, в том числе и российскими бизнесменами.
В действительности, 19 ноября 2008 года был подписан Меморандум о взаимопонимании (The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)) (далее по тексту — «Меморандум») между Федеральной службой по финансовым рынкам РФ (ФСФР РФ) и Комиссией по ценным бумагам и биржевым операциям Республики Кипр (Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission (CySec) (см. ниже текст документа; обращаем внимание, что текст получен нашей фирмой неофициальным путем).
Меморандум о взаимопонимании направлен на повышение эффективности координации деятельности финансовых рынков обеих стран, повышение прозрачности деятельности российских финансовых институтов, а также на содействие мерам по борьбе с легализацией (отмыванием) незаконных средств. В соответствии с Меморандумом финансовые органы обеих стран смогут предоставлять друг другу информацию о выявлении нарушений или угрозы нарушений законов и нормативных актов.
На основании этого документа ФСФР РФ может получать от своих кипрских коллег сведения о конечных собственниках так называемых финансовых компаний Кипра — инвестиционных компаний, брокерских и прочих компаний, осуществляющих деятельность финансового характера на основании специальной лицензии. Однако это никоим образом не касается подавляющего большинства остальных компаний, зарегистрированных на Кипре, но не являющихся финансовыми.
Кто и по каким основаниям может раскрыть информацию о бенефициарных владельцах кипрских компаний?
На основании заключенных между Россией и Кипром международных соглашений об избежании двойного налогообложения, а также о правовой помощи по уголовным, гражданским делам, касающимся обмена информацией, соответствующие уполномоченные органы Российской Федерации в рамках заведенных административных, гражданских, уголовных и иных дел могут обратиться в уполномоченные органы Кипра с запросом о получении необходимой информации. При взаимодействии между налоговыми органами двух стран объем информации, доступной по запросу российских налоговых органов, изначально сводится к официальной финансовой отчетности, которую каждая кипрская компания ежегодно предоставляет в налоговые органы. В данной отчетности не содержится информация относительно бенефициаров компании.
Как и раньше, информация о бенефициарах частных компаний может быть раскрыта банком, адвокатской фирмой, а также иными лицами, обладающими подобной информацией на территории Кипра, только лишь на основании соответствующего решения кипрского суда, которое может быть принято, в свою очередь, при наличии достаточно серьезных оснований — обвинений в совершении тех или иных противоправных деяний, как то, например, в отмывании денежных средств, полученных преступным путем, и т. п.
Известно, что одна из главных целей подписания Меморандума — способствовать формальному исключению Кипра из утвержденного Министерством финансов РФ списка государств и территорий, предоставляющих льготный налоговый режим налогообложения и (или) не предусматривающих раскрытия и предоставления информации при проведении финансовых операций, поскольку нахождение в данном списке делает Кипр менее привлекательной юрисдикцией для российских инвесторов.
Отмечаем также, что тиражирование российскими СМИ не вполне точной информации по данному вопросу уже происходило в прошлом. Так, в 2003 году Председатель Федеральной комиссии по рынку ценных бумаг (ФКЦБ России) Игорь Костиков заявлял о том, что ФКЦБ России якобы получает информацию от Центрального банка Кипра о реальных владельцах кипрских компаний российского происхождения. Впоследствии это заявление было опровергнуто самой же ФКЦБ России.
Memorandum of Understanding *
Federal Financial Markets Service of Russia
and Exchange Commission
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Introduction 1
2. Definitions 2
3. Intention 3
4. Scope 4
5. Consolidated Supervision, Market And Policy Developments 5
6. Requests For Assistance or Information 5
7. Unsolicited Information 7
8. Permissible Uses of Information 7
9. Crisis Situations 8
10. Confidentiality 8
11. Rights of Requested Authority 8
12. Consultation 9
13. Amendments to the Memorandum oа understanding 10
14. Costs of Investigation 10
15. Lists of Authorised Entities 10
16. Termination of Memorandum of Understanding 10
17. Publication 11
18. Effective Date 11
Annex A Designated Contact Officers 12
1.1 The Federal Financial Markets Service of Russia ("FFMS") and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission ("CySEC") wish to maintain a close and
co-operative relationship. Both Authorities acknowledge the importance of compliance with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations on
Anti-Money Laundering, and the IOSCO's Objectives and Principles of Securities Regulation.
1.2 The arrangements outlined below are intended to support an effective working relationship, but they are not restrictive or legally binding. Both
Authorities share the goal of promoting investor protection and support the continuous development and innovation of regulations and supervision in
financial products and activities within their respective financial markets.
1.3 The Federal Financial Markets Service of Russia is the federal executive organisation responsible for implementing government policy on the securities
market, regulating activities of professional securities market participants and protecting the rights of investors and shareholders. The FFMS was
established in accordance with President Decree No. 314 "On the System and Structure of Federal Executive Branch Agencies," dated 9 March 2004.
The key functions of the FFMS are following:
a) Regulate securities issuance and trading, including state registration of security issues and reports on the results of security issues; register
b) Control and supervise the activities of issuers, professional market participants and their Self-Regulatory Organizations; joint-stock investment funds;
management companies for joint-stock investment funds, unit investment funds, non-government pension funds and their Self-Regulatory Organizations; special
depositaries for joint-stock investment funds, unit investment funds and non-government pension funds; managers of mortgage coverage; special depositaries
for mortgage covers; non-government pension funds; the Russian Federation Pension Fund; the State management company; and commodity exchanges.
c) Make proposals to the Federal Government to improve existing laws and develop draft laws and other regulations.
d) Seek to ensure that companies adhere to information disclosure obligations in accordance with Russian legislation.
e) Organize analysis of issues relating to the development of the financial markets.
1.4 The CySEC was established in accordance with section 5 of the Law of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (Establishment and Responsibilities)
Law of 2001 - 2007, as a public corporate body and its principal powers and responsibilities include:
a) To supervise and control the operation of the Cyprus Stock Exchange and the transactions carried out in the Cyprus Stock Exchange, as well as the
issuers of securities listed on the Cyprus Stock Exchange or any other regulated market to be authorised and operated in the Republic;
b) To license, authorise, regulate and supervise investment firms in the Republic of Cyprus, exercising the powers and responsibilities granted to it by
the Investment Services and Activities and Regulated Markets Law of 2007;
c) To license local Open-ended Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) and Management Companies that may market them, and
to supervise the compliance of UCITS, Management Companies, Custodians and Distributors with their continuous obligations provided in the UCITS Law of 2004;
d) To licence close-ended investment undertakings and to oversee and control these undertakings and their investment policy;
e) To recall or suspend any of the operation licences it has granted for reasons specified in the relevant laws;
f) To carry out inspections over issuers of securities, over investment firms, mutual fund management companies, open-ended investment companies and on
closed-ended investment companies;
g) To request and collect information necessary for the exercise of its responsibilities, and to demand in writing the provision of information from all
natural or legal persons or organisations CySEC considers to be in a position to provide such information;
h) To carry out on site investigations regarding possible breaches of the laws it administers;
i) To impose administrative sanctions and disciplinary penalties to issuers of securities, investment firms, as well as to any other legal or natural
person pursuant to the laws it administers;
j) To exercise the responsibilities granted to it by Law Regarding Takeover Bids of 2007;
k) To exercise the powers and responsibilities granted to it by the Public Offer and Prospectus Law of 2005;
l) To exercise the powers and responsibilities granted to it by the Insider Dealing and Market Manipulation (Market Abuse) law of 2005;
m) To investigate and grant final approval to the prospectus of the issuer who seeks the listing of his securities on the Cyprus Stock Exchange, or any
other regulated market to be authorised and operated in the Republic;
n) To exercise the supervisory authority with which CySEC was entrusted in connection with the implementation of the Prevention and Suppression of Money
Laundering Activities Law of 1996;
o) To co-operate with competent supervisory authorities charged with the exercise of similar responsibilities abroad.
"Authorised Entity" means any investment firm, regulated market, collective investment scheme, corporate or trust service provider registered with the
Authorities, or any other person acting within the scope of competence of the Authorities;
"Authorities" means the FFMS and the CySEC;
"FFMS" means the Federal Financial Markets Service of Russia;
"CySEC" means the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission;
"Financial Markets" means any securities and derivatives market supervised by an Authority.
"Issuer" means a person making an offer to the public or seeking listing of a security;
"Jurisdiction" means the country, state or other territory, as the case may be, in which the FFMS or the CySEC have legal authority, power and/or
jurisdiction by law;
"Law" or "Laws and Regulations" or "Law or Regulations" means any laws, regulations, directives and other regulatory requirements in force in the
respective States of the Authorities;
"Memorandum of Understanding" (MOU) means a document which sets out the arrangements for both mutual co-operation and exchange of information between
"Person" means any natural person or legal person;
"Requested Authority" means the Authority to whom a request is made under this Memorandum of Understanding;
"Requesting Authority" means the Authority that makes a request under this Memorandum of Understanding;
"Securities" means shares, bonds and other forms of securitized debts, futures and derivative products including commodity derivatives, units of
undertakings in collective investment schemes and other financial products traded in the respective jurisdiction of the Authorities;
3.1 This Memorandum of Understanding sets forth a statement of intent of the Authorities to establish a framework for mutual assistance and to facilitate
the exchange of information between the Authorities to enforce or secure compliance with laws and regulations of their respective jurisdictions.
3.2 The Authorities intend to provide one another with assistance under this Memorandum of Understanding to the full extent permitted by the laws and
regulations of their respective jurisdictions. Assistance from one jurisdiction to the other will, to the extent permitted by law, not be limited to
information concerning institutions authorised, licensed, registered or recognised in Cyprus and/or Russia.
3.3 This Memorandum of Understanding will serve to promote the integrity, efficiency and financial soundness of Authorised Entities by improving the
effective regulation, enhancing the supervision of cross-border transactions, and creating an environment conducive to the prevention of fraudulent and
other prohibited practices in Cyprus and Russia.
3.4 The Memorandum of Understanding does not create any binding legal obligations upon the Authorities.
3.5 The Authorities intend, where legal authorisation is lacking, to actively pursue all avenues towards obtaining, by law, all the necessary powers for
the effective achievement of the objectives of the Memorandum of Understanding, and to keep each other informed of developments in connection therewith.
3.6 The provisions of this Memorandum of Understanding do not grant the right to any person, directly or indirectly, to obtain, suppress or exclude any
information or to challenge the execution of a request for assistance under this Memorandum of Understanding.
3.7 The Authorities will use reasonable efforts to provide each other with any information that they discover which leads to a suspicion of a breach or
anticipated breach of laws or regulations in the jurisdiction of the other Authority.
4.1 The Authorities will provide each other with the fullest mutual assistance in any matters falling within the competence of the Authorities, including
in particular the following areas:
a) assisting in the discovery of and taking of action against unauthorised business or fraudulent or prohibited practices in relation to activities that
the Authorities regulate;
b) investigations and enforcement in connection with applicable laws and regulations relating to insider dealing, market manipulation and other fraudulent
or manipulative practices;
c) authorisation or licensing of entities within the scope of competence of the Authorities;
d) regulation and supervision of Authorised Entities;
e) promoting and securing the fit and proper qualities of directors, managers (including company secretaries and compliance officers) and controllers of
Authorised Entities and the promotion of high standards of fair dealing and integrity of their conduct of business;
f) the supervision of Financial Markets, including the clearing and settlement, the monitoring and surveillance of OTC-transactions in securities listed on
g) enforcing or monitoring compliance with applicable laws and regulations relating to the duties of issuers and offerors of securities in relation to the
disclosure of information;
h) enforcing and monitoring compliance with applicable laws and regulations relating to the disclosure of interests in securities, takeover bids or the
acquisition of influence over financial intermediaries;
i) any matters agreed upon between the Authorities from time to time evidenced in writing.
4.2 Where the information may be maintained by, or available to, another authority within the country of the Requested Authority, the Authority will
endeavour to provide full assistance in obtaining the information requested, to the extent permitted by law. If necessary, the Requested Authority will
provide the Requesting Authority with sufficient information to establish direct contact with the other authority.
5. CONSOLIDATED SUPERVISION, MARKET AND POLICY DEVELOPMENTS
The FFMS and the CYSEC will provide to the other information regarding the extent and nature of its consolidated supervision of any group of which an
Authorised Entity is a member. In addition, the FFMS and the CYSEC will provide information concerning material changes or developments in their supervisory
regimes. The FFMS and the CYSEC will also regularly discuss market risks in their respective markets and other policy developments that might be relevant to
6. REQUESTS FOR ASSISTANCE OR INFORMATION
6.1 This Memorandum of Understanding does not affect the ability of the Authorities to obtain information from persons in the other's jurisdiction on a
voluntary basis, provided that the Authorities observe the procedures in that other jurisdiction for the obtaining of such information.
6.2 To facilitate communication and ensure continuity in the co-operation between the Authorities, each Authority will designate the contact officers set
forth in Annex A hereto for communications under this Memorandum of Understanding.
6.3 A Requesting Authority will make requests for assistance in writing addressed to the contact officer or officers of the Requested Authority.
6.4 To the extent available to the Requesting Authority, the request will include the following particulars:-
a) description of the subject matter of the request and the purpose for which the information is sought and the reasons why this information will be of
b) the legal provisions or a brief description thereof concerning the matter that is the subject matter of the request;
c) a description of the specific information requested by the Requesting Authority;
d) any information in the possession of the Requesting Authority that might assist the Requested Authority in identifying the persons, bodies or entities
believed by the Requesting Authority to possess the information sought, or the places where the Requested Authority may obtain such information, in
i) in so far as the request concerns information relating to transactions in specific securities:
a full description of the securities in question (including e.g. the securities code),
the names of the firm/s involved in the transactions,
the dates between which transactions are considered relevant for the purposes of the request,
the names of any persons on whose behalf relevant transactions are believed or suspected to have been entered into;
ii) in so far as the request relates to information concerning the business or activities of any person, such precise information as the Requesting
Authority is able to provide so as to enable such persons to be identified;
e) an indication of the sensitivity of the information contained in the request and whether the Requesting Authority is content for the fact that it has
made the request to be disclosed to persons whom the Requested Authority may need to approach for information;
f) whether the Requesting Authority is or has been in contact with any other authority or law enforcement agency in the State of the Requested Authority in
relation to the subject matter of the request and whether any other Authority, governmental or non-governmental, is co-operating with the Requesting
Authority or seeking information from the confidential files of the Requesting Authority and to whom onward disclosure of information is likely to be
g) any other authority whom the Requesting Authority is aware has an active interest in the subject matter of the request;
h) an indication of the urgency of the request, or the desired time period for reply.
6.5 In urgent circumstances, the Requested Authority will accept a request by means of communication other than the exchange of letters, and will expedite
to the extent possible a reply thereto by summary procedures or by means of communication other than the exchange of letters. Such urgent communications
will be confirmed in writing as prescribed above by the relevant contact person set out in Annex A within five business days.
6.6 To the extent permitted by law, the Requested Authority will take all reasonable steps to obtain and provide the information sought.
7. UNSOLICITED INFORMATION
An Authority may provide, or arrange for the provision of, information that it believes will assist the other Authority in the performance of its
regulatory functions, on a voluntary basis even though the other Authority has made no request. The terms and conditions of this Memorandum of Understanding
will apply if the providing Authority specifies that it is passing the information under this Memorandum of Understanding.
8. PERMISSIBLE USES OF INFORMATION
8.1 Any assistance or information provided in terms of the Memorandum of Understanding should be used by the recipient only for the purpose of performing
its regulatory and supervisory functions.
8.2 The Requesting Authority may not use information furnished for any purpose other than that identified in terms of paragraph 6.4 a).
8.3 If the Requesting Authority wants to use the information obtained for any purpose other than that stated in terms of paragraph 6.4 a), the Requesting
Authority will seek and obtain the consent in writing of the Requested Authority prior to the use of such information.
8.4 Where the Requesting Authority believes that sharing confidential information with a third party is necessary, it will inform the Requested Authority
of the third party's interest in this information and it must provide the Requested Authority with the opportunity to oppose such use.
8.5 The Requesting Authority may consult with the Requested Authority concerning the reasons for the objection if the Requested Authority opposes such use.
8.6 Where unsolicited information is supplied, the Authority will use this information solely for the purposes stated in the transmission letter or for the
purposes of criminal or administrative proceedings or for the discharge of the obligation to report to judicial authorities.
9. CRISIS SITUATIONS
Where there is a need for urgent action by either Authority, in view of exceptional circumstances affecting an Authorised Entity, including financial
distress, the FFMS and the CYSEC will inform the other of such information as is deemed appropriate in the particular circumstances, taking into account all
10.1 The Authorities will, to the full extent permitted by the laws and regulations of their respective jurisdictions, keep confidential:-
a) any request for assistance or information pursuant to this Memorandum of Understanding;
b) any information received pursuant to this Memorandum of Understanding; and
c) any matter arising during the operation of this Memorandum of Understanding, including consultations and unsolicited assistance.
10.2 The Requesting Authority will not disclose the assistance or information obtained pursuant to this Memorandum of Understanding to third parties
without the prior written consent of the Requested Authority and compliance with the provisions of paragraph 8.
10.3 Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 8 (8.1, 8.2, 8.3), the confidentiality provisions of this Memorandum of Understanding will not prevent the
Authority from informing the law enforcement bodies in its jurisdiction when disclosure is required pursuant to a legally enforceable demand.
10.4 If the Requesting Authority becomes aware that information passed to it under this Memorandum of Understanding may be subject to a legally enforceable
demand to disclose it will, to the extent permitted by laws or regulations of its jurisdiction, inform the Requested Authority of that demand. The
Authorities will then consult on the appropriate course of action.
10.5 The Authorities' obligation to retain the confidential treatment of assistance and information will continue when either Authority gives notice of its
intent to cease co-operation under this Memorandum of Understanding. The Authorities understand that the laws and regulations of their respective
jurisdictions place limitations on use and disclosure of non-public information obtained pursuant to this Memorandum of Understanding.
11. RIGHTS OF REQUESTED AUTHORITY
11.1 The Requested Authority may deny requests for assistance:-
a) where the request would require the Requested Authority to act in a way that would violate the laws or regulations of the jurisdiction of the Requested
b) where the request is not in accordance with the provisions of this Memorandum of Understanding;
c) where judicial proceedings for the imposition of criminal penalties have already been initiated or criminal investigation is already underway;
d) where final judgment has already been passed or sanctions have already been applied by the competent Authorities, in the jurisdiction of the Requested
Authority, in respect of the same actions and against the same persons; or
e) on grounds of public interest, national security or essential national interest.
11.2 Where the Requested Authority denies or opposes a request for assistance, or where assistance is not available under the law of the jurisdiction of
the Requested Authority, the Requested Authority will provide the reasons why it is not granting the assistance. The Authorities will then consult pursuant
to paragraph 12.
11.3 The Authorities recognise that this present Memorandum of Understanding should not be considered as limiting or enhancing the powers of the
Authorities under the laws and regulations of their respective jurisdictions to investigate or gather information or to take measures otherwise than as
provided in the Memorandum of Understanding to obtain information, whether or not concerning a request under the Memorandum of Understanding.
12.1 The Authorities will consult with each other on an on-going basis to enhance regulatory co-operation between them and to improve the operation of the
Memorandum of Understanding and to strive to resolve any matters that may arise, including but not limited to:-
a) matters of mutual interest to enhance co-operation and to protect depositors and investors by ensuring the stability, efficiency, and integrity of the
financial services industry in their respective jurisdictions;
b) the co-ordination of the supervision of Authorised Entities and Markets; and
c) the administration of the laws or regulations of their respective jurisdictions.
The purpose of such consultations is to assist in the development of mutually agreeable approaches for strengthening the financial services industries of
their respective jurisdictions whilst avoiding, whenever possible, conflicts that may arise from the application of differing regulatory practices.
12.2 The Authorities will inform one another of the adoption of domestic measures that may affect their respective Authority's ability to provide
assistance under this Memorandum of Understanding.
12.3 The Authorities may take practical measures as may be necessary to facilitate the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding. As such, the
Authorities may amend, relax or waive any of the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding.
13. AMENDMENTS TO THE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
13.1 This Memorandum of Understanding may be amended or modified by mutual consent. Any amendment or modification of this Memorandum of Understanding shall
follow the same procedure as its entry into force.
13.2 Amendment to Annex A may be made by the contact person in Annex A providing written notice to the corresponding contact person in that Annex.
14. COSTS OF INVESTIGATION
If it appears that the Requested Authority may incur substantial costs in responding to a request for assistance under this Memorandum of Understanding,
the Authorities will consult with a view to establishing an appropriate and equitable cost-sharing arrangement before proceeding with such a request for
15. LISTS OF AUTHORISED ENTITIES
The Authorities will exchange lists of Authorised Entities in their jurisdictions at the date of signing of this Memorandum of Understanding. Such lists
will be updated and exchanged at the half-year dates following. Where an Authority maintains records of authorised entities and/or disqualified or banned
registers on its website and these are kept up-to-date this will satisfy the initial and ongoing requirement.
16. TERMINATION OF THE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
This Memorandum of Understanding will continue in effect for an indefinite period but will terminate upon the expiration of thirty days after either
Authority gives written notice to the other Authority of its intention to terminate the Memorandum of Understanding. If either Authority gives such notice,
this Memorandum of Understanding will continue to have effect with respect to all requests for assistance that either Authority had made before the
effective date of notification until the Requesting Authority terminates the matter for which it requested assistance.
The Authorities agree that this Memorandum of Understanding may be published.
18. EFFECTIVE DATE
This Memorandum of Understanding will be effective from the date of its signing by the Authorities.
Signed in Moscow on November 19, 2008, in the English language.
* Текст данного документа получен неофициальным путем, в этой связи наша фирма не несет никакой ответственности за его точность и достоверность.