Representatives Albanian institutions discussed beneficial ownership registries and due diligence with Council of Europe experts at a Roundtable on “Transparency of Beneficial Ownership in Albania” which took place in Tirana, Albania on 12 and 13 March 2019. The event was organized pursuant to a request for assistance from the Ministry of Finance and Economy of Albania and is related to the development of a Roadmap for Beneficial Ownership Registry in Albania. During the two days participants discussed international requirements regarding transparency of beneficial ownership, shortcomings in Albania identified by MONEYAL, and good comparative practices regarding beneficial ownership due diligence and central registries. Participants outlined some of the technical and operational issues they encounter in establishing the beneficial owner. Currently the Ministry of Finance is revising the legislation to provide the definition of the beneficial owner, which to date is foreseen explicitly only in the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering. Another major problem identified, was the lack of address system in Albania posing difficulties in determining the address of the registered office which is a prerequisite as a basic information on beneficial ownership. The discussions in the event served as a platform for mapping out next steps in development and implementation of a Roadmap for the establishment of beneficial ownership registry in Albania.
This Roundtable was organized under the auspices of the EU/CoE Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey “Action against Economic Crime in Albania (AEC-AL) and will be followed by subsequent activities aiming to strengthen the capacities of Albanian authorities and reporting entities in establishing and implementing the transparency of beneficial ownership obligations.