Oral Answer by SPS Rahayu Mahzam to PQ on Requiring Overseas Entities Wanting to Buy, Sell or Transfer Properties in Singapore to Register with ACRA
05 Oct 2022 Posted in Parliamentary speeches and responses
Mr Murali Pillai (Member of Parliament for Bukit Batok SMC)
To ask the Minister for Law whether the Ministry will require overseas entities wanting to buy, sell or transfer properties in Singapore to register with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and disclose the beneficial owners and principal officers of the entities along the lines of what has been introduced in United Kingdom in August 2022 as a measure against money laundering.
- The member has asked if there should be a requirement for overseas entities to register with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) before they can transact in property in Singapore.
- I understand that ACRA has implemented a register of registrable controllers for companies, foreign companies and limited liability partnerships (LLPs). Such entities are required to file information on their registrable controllers (i.e. beneficial owners) centrally with ACRA. This serves to make the ownership and control of such entities more transparent and thus reduce opportunities for the misuse of such entities for illicit purposes. Foreign entities that carry on or intend to carry on business in Singapore are already required to be registered with ACRA and would be subject to existing requirements to file information on their beneficial owner with ACRA.
- Currently, in line with the anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism standards set by the Financial Action Task Force, professionals involved in the buying, selling and transfer of real estate such as real estate agents and lawyers are required to address the money laundering and terrorism financing risks. They have to assess their money laundering and terrorism financing risks, conduct customer due diligence including the identification of their customers’ beneficial owners, and where the risks of a customer are high, take enhanced measures such as source of funds checks.
- Agencies are assessing whether a measure like the UK’s Register of Overseas Entities would be useful in our context.
Last updated on 05 October 2022