Lithuania – New requirements from November 2022
The following requirements will step into the force on 1 November 2022 for new applicants and on 1 December 2022 for already registered companies:
1 – According to the current legislation of Lithuania, it is possible to obtain 2 separate registrations as “operator of deposit virtual currency funds” and “virtual currency exchange operator”.
In Lithuania it will remain activity registration (rather than a license) and the supervisory authority will be the Commercial Registry for compliance with formal requirements (availability of authorized capital; local exclusive AML officer, etc.).
Lithuanian authorities will create a separate register for Virtual Asset Service Providers by Jan-Feb, 2023 and it will be possible to upload a separate printout and further apostille to present it to the Banks, counteragents and other third parties.
2 – Currently, contributed share capital is in the amount of 2 500 EUR. As per new requirements:
- This share capital will be increased to 125 000 EUR;
- It will be allowed by the law to contribute only 31 250 EUR (25% of the initial share capital requirements) at the registration step;
- The amount of 31 250 EUR could be further withdrawn and used within the framework of the company’s activities;
- By the moment of submitting the annual report within 12 months after company incorporation, capital on the account should be not less than 50% (62 500 EUR).
Thus, the company’s equity capital cannot fall below 50% (62 500 EUR) at the moment of each annual report submission and further withdrawn and/or used within the framework of activities.
3 – Currently, there is the requirement for an officially employed Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) and a non-local AML officer. As per new requirements:
- Instead of MLRO and non-local AML officer, VASP will be obliged to have an exclusive (work only for one company) local AML officer.
- As per our initial assessment, Lithuanian authorities will not verify the competence of a local AML officer (such as CV, diploma, etc. will not be requested by the regulatory authorities). This is the point which allows you to have plenty of different options of hiring AML officers with the experience and occupation you will be satisfied with.
4 – Currently, Director and UBO of a company do not have to be a locals. Requirements will remain the same.
5 – To date, Director and UBO of a company should have a good reputation however, government authorities do not request the provision of no-criminal record. In the line with amended legislation, an increase in the reputation requirements of the director and UBO will be applied.
From the practical perspective regulatory authorities as well as before most likely will not require to provide the criminal record of a company’s major actors, as well as verify their competence through interviews, CV gathering, etc. There will be more clarity on the implementation of this requirement when relevant changes to the secondary legislation will be made in October 2022, when FNTT issues the relevant guidance.
6 – To date there is no need to have a physical substance in terms of office rent. Based on the new legislation act, this requirement will not be a subject to change either.
Our advice is to rent a small premise to show the regulator real physical presence on the territory of Lithuania where the local AML officer could potentially work (upon your choice). It will also arise probability of success in the process of a corporate account opening.
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