Anti-crisis measures for the corporate sector in Cyprus

Currently, all areas of life and economic activities experience difficulties with operating, including areas of corporate management and corporate reporting. Since office work and movements of shareholders, key management figures, employees, registrars, depositories, and providers of administrative and corporate services are hindered, the inability to perform various duties on time has become a pressing concern. Legislators in various countries have widely adopted rules that allow companies to hold remote meetings, delay deadlines for filing annual reports, and cancel fines for violations of certain terms. Cyprus is no exception, and state authorities of Cyprus have taken various measures to support companies and providers of corporate services in order for companies to fulfill their obligations on filing certain reports, paying state fees, and meeting certain deadlines. Let us consider such measures in more detail.

Department of Registrar of Companies

What are important permanent obligations that companies registered in Cyprus have to the Registrar of Companies, i.e. the state authority that registers companies and all subsequent corporate actions and events? The company shall:

  • Pay the annual state fee;
  • Timely hold annual meetings of shareholders;
  • Timely file an annual return accompanied by financial statements;

The Registrar of Companies adopted significant and timely resolutions on two of these three items:

  • The payment deadline for the Annual Fee in the amount of 350 EUR is deferred from 30.06.2020 to 31.12.2020 with no fine of 10% and 30 % charged.
  • The deadline for filing the Annual Return for the period from 01.01.2020 to 31.01.2020 is extended to 28.01.2021 with no fine of 20 EUR charged for late filing.

At the same time, the Department of Registrar of Companies decided not to extend time limits for holding the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders due to the fact that the laws allow it to be held remotely via electronic means of communication.

Moreover, supporting measures introduced by the Registrar affected two other important aspects of the corporate life. Recently, the Registrar of Companies in Cyprus has focused on “cleaning up” and “filling up”, i.e. timely filing of all the required information to the Registrar, both for past and current periods. First of all, this leads to the introduction of fines for late filing of documents for registration of certain corporate events, as well as to the initiative exclusion from the Registrar of companies that violate legal requirements, primarily on the provision of financial statements to the Registrar. The Registrar of Cyprus made concessions regarding both these items:

  • The deadline for imposing fines for late filing of forms to the Registrar of Companies is deferred from April 2020 to 18.12.2020.
  • The process of publishing a three-month notice in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cyprus on striking-off companies from the Registrar due to non-compliance with legal requirements is suspended until January 2021.

Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission

The Securities and Exchange Commission also developed a number of additional measures for those companies that by reason of the specific nature of their activities report to the Commission, and for which the latter acts as a Regulator. The first half of the year is the period for filing various types of reports for the previous year, including statistical reports and reports of the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing law compliance department. Due to the fact that most employees of various companies are forced to work remotely and have limited access to the required information, the Commission extended the deadline for filing various types of reports, such as:

Statistical reports:

  • The deadline for filing the annual statistical report for 2019 Risk Based Supervision Framework (Form RBSF) for both providers of administrative services and investment companies is extended from 31.03.2020 to 30.06.2020.
  • The deadline for filing the Quarterly Statistics for the 1st quarter of 2020 for all types of entities is extended from 30.04.2020 to 31.07.2020.

Reports of investment companies:

  • For investment companies, the deadlines for filing the following types of reports are extended from 30.04.2020 to 31.07.2020:
    • Annual Compliance Function Report;
    • Annual Risk Management Report;
    • Annual Audit Report;
    • Annual Audited Financial Statements;
    • Annual Auditors’ Suitability Report.
  • The deadline for filing COPER Forms for investment companies is deferred from 31.05.2020 to 31.07.2020.
  • The deadline for filing Prudential Supervision Information forms is deferred from06.2020 to 31.08.2020.

Furthermore, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission issued the Guideline for filing financial statements of various financial organizations in 2020 that covers extension of various deadlines for filing financial statements and related information for various financial organizations.

Therefore, Cyprus has followed the example of other countries and has introduced comprehensive measures to assist various types of companies in order for them to comply with the laws and exclude imposition of fines for violations of deadlines, which companies are unable to meet under current conditions.

Irina Otrokhova

Chief Compliance Officer

Corporate Services

Korpus Prava (Cyprus)

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