On 15 March 2022, the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill (the "Bill") received Royal Assent, and is now known as the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 (the "Act"). As explained in our recent briefing on the Bill, the Act introduces a register of beneficial ownership information for overseas entities that own or buy UK property ("the Register"), as part of the government's package of sanctions against Russia and in order to progress its longer-term strategy of combatting economic crime.
Several amendments were made to the Bill during its passage through parliament, including reduction of the transitional period for registration of existing property owners from 18 to 6 months, addition of a requirement for entities to disclose whether they are designated under the sanctions regime, removal of a provision for exempting individuals on the basis of the "economic wellbeing of the United Kingdom", obligations on beneficial owners that are trustees to provide certain information about relevant trusts, expansion of the offence of making false statements, and a requirement for existing property owners to provide information on recent dispositions of land.
The Act also makes amendments to the law as regards unexplained wealth orders and sanctions legislation. Please see our briefing here on these aspects of the Act.