The Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 came into force on 1 August 2022. The ECTEA aims to combat economic crime by introducing transparency around the ownership of overseas entities that hold registered title to property in the UK.
It is essential that Overseas Entities, which include those registered in the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, now take immediate steps to establish the identity of their beneficial owners. Overseas Entities will be unable to register any new dispositions or transfers of registerable estates, creation of registerable leases or charges on registerable estates at HM Land Registry, until they have been registered on the Companies House register of Overseas Entities and received a unique ID.
The Act is retrospective: Overseas Entities who own and continue to own registerable property in England and Wales from 1 January 1999 have until 23 January 2023 to register with Companies House, and present their unique ID number to HM Land Registry as proof of their registration. Failure to do so will result in a restriction being placed on their titles, which will prevent them dealing with their property as they wish. They will also be liable to civil and criminal penalties.