On Friday 26 July 2019 at the Hotel Royal in Luxembourg-ville, STEP BeNeLux held a bilingual (French & English) event on the issue of the Beneficial Ownership Register (RBE) which will be available to the general public on 1 September 2019; as a result, all Luxembourg companies are required to publish information of their beneficial owners by the end of August.

The presentation of the Position Paper was made by Paolo Panico, chairman of STEP Europe and Deputy Chair of STEP Benelux, and Andrew Knight, member of the STEP Benelux board.

The case of a Luxembourg company controlled by a trust is not dealt with in the Law of 13 January 2019 creating the Beneficial Ownership Register. No mention of it can be found in any of the circulars and guide-lines issued so far by the Register.
STEP Benelux is the local branch of an international association headquartered in London with over 21,000 members all over the world. The members of STEP are lawyers, accountants, family officers, and bankers, with a common professional interest in advising families in succession matters across generations. STEP as an organisation often advices governments and institutions in relation to legislation ad policies which have an impact on these matters.
Trusts are a preferred legal arrangement for family succession, which can rely on centuries of experience in the Anglo-saxon world. They have been recognised in Luxembourg since 2004 and can accordingly be used to control shares in a Luxembourg company.
The definition of beneficial owners in the law creating the Beneficial Ownership register makes reference to the AML Law (Law of 12 November 2004 on the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing ). This law, in case of companies, provides two tests: a "quantitative" one (people owning more than 25% of a company's capital or voting rights) and a "qualitative one" (people who can exercise control "by any other means").
STEP Benelux issued a Position Paper on the approach to be taken to publish in the Beneficial Ownership Register the beneficial owners of a Luxembourg company controlled by a trust. It suggests to apply the criteria above based on the specific case of each trust. In other words, the managing directors of a company acting as trustee must always be indicated as beneficial owners of the company controlled by a trust. If there are beneficiaries with a fixed interest in excess of 25% of the company they also qualify as beneficial owners. If some persons, such as the settlor or a protector, have the power to replace the trustee, or to appoint or exclude the beneficiaries, they are also beneficial owners. On the other hand, STEP Benelux considers that listing in all cases all the persons who have a relationship with the trust is not a correct approach.

The Position Paper may be downloaded free of charge from the web-site of STEP - see https://bit.ly/2OoFYBK