PRESS RELEASE 095
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation has signed a collaboration agreement with the General Council of Notaries for the prevention of economic crimes

Press release issued jointly by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation and the General Council of Notaries

24/06/2020

• The 200 consulates around the world will provide information on the legal and business operations they authorise to the Central Office for the Prevention of Money Laundering

• As public officers, diplomatic and consular agents may authorise some operations by acting as notaries for Spanish citizens abroad.

This morning, the president of the General Council for Notaries, José Ángel Martínez Sanchiz signed a collaboration agreement on the prevention of money laundering with the director-general for Spaniards Abroad and of Consular Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation, Juan Duarte Cuadrado. 

According to the European Convention on Consular Functions (Paris, 1967), consular officers abroad may act as notaries to authorise documents and contracts affecting Spanish citizens or goods located in Spain, as well as marriage agreements in which at least one of the parties is Spanish.

“The aim of this convention is to design and develop procedures that can improve the Spanish system for the prevention of money laundering and financing of terrorism”, explained Martínez Sanchiz, president of the General Council of Notaries. “From now on, consuls and diplomats responsible for notarising documents will be considered officers incorporated into the Centralised Prevention Body (Spanish acronym: OCP) on Money Laundering of the General Council of Notaries”. 

Until now, diplomatic officers, acting as reporting parties under the law, informed the Executive Service of the Commission for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Financial Crime (Spanish acronym: SEPBLAC) of any indications or suspicions of money laundering they detected in the exercise of their function of authorising these operations.

“With the conclusion of this convention, diplomatic officers responsible for official certification must keep a database of the operations they authorise under their function as notaries”, explained Duarte Cuadrado, the director-general for Spaniards Abroad and Consular Affairs, “with information on the identification of those involved or their representatives, the type and amount of the operation, the place and date of the signature or identification of the objects (buildings, movable goods, vessels, shares, equity holdings, other securities, financial assets, etc.). This database must be kept on a platform designed by the technology agency of the Council of Notaries”.

The OCP experts will analyse the information, as they do with the data submitted by Spanish notaries, and incorporate it into the information they submit to SEPBLAC or collaborating institutions (prosecutors, security forces, the Tax Agency, etc.).

 


Database on Beneficial Ownership

The diplomatic officers will also incorporate information into the Beneficial Ownership Database of the Council of Notaries. They will thus send all the public documents affecting the title to shares or equity holdings in Spanish companies (including the incorporation of companies, transfer or donation of shares or equity holdings, capital increase or decrease, dissolution, etc.) and that refer to the records on the beneficial ownership of Spanish or third-country legal entities.

Finally, the convention includes the publication of an internal manual for consular offices that standardises and unifies procedures in this area, as well as the approval of a training plan for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.

 

-NON OFFICIAL TRANSLATION-

 

 

 

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