Section 11 GwG – Identification
(1) 1Obliged entities are required to identify contracting parties and, if applicable, persons acting on their behalf and beneficial owners, before establishing a business relationship or executing a transaction. 2The identification may also be completed without undue delay while the business relationship is being established if this is necessary in order to avoid interrupting the normal course of business and there is a low risk of money laundering or terrorist financing.
(2) 1By way of derogation from subsection (1), obliged entities under section 2 (1) no. 14 are required to identify the parties to a contract governing the object of purchase and, if applicable, persons acting on their behalf and beneficial owners, as soon as the intermediary’s contracting party expresses a serious interest in the execution of the real estate sales contract and the parties to the sales contract are sufficiently definitive. 2If obliged entities under section 2 (1) no. 14 act for both parties to the contract governing the object of purchase, each obliged entity is only required to identify the party to the contract for which it is acting.
(3) 1Identification may be omitted if the obliged entity has already identified the person to be identified on an earlier occasion in the fulfilment of its due diligence requirements and recorded the information obtained. 2If external circumstances leave the obliged entity no choice but to doubt that the information obtained during the earlier identification is still correct, the obliged entity is required to carry out a new identification.
(4) In the identification, the obliged entity is to collect the following information:
- in the case of a natural person:
a) their first name and surname,
b) their place of birth,
c) date of birth,
d) their nationality and
e) a residential address or, if no fixed abode and legal residence in the European Union exists and identity is being verified in the course of concluding a basic payment account contract within the meaning of section 38 of the Payment Accounts Act (Zahlungskontengesetz), the postal address under which the contracting party and the person dealing with the obliged entity can be reached;
- in the case of a legal person or a partnership:
a) the registered name, name or designation,
b) the legal form,
c) the commercial register number if available,
d) the address of the registered office or head office and
e) the names of the members of its representative body or the names of its legal representatives and, if a member of its representative body or the legal representative is a legal person, the data listed under letters (a) to (d) for this legal person.
(5) 1By way of derogation from subsection (4), to determine the identity of a beneficial owner the obliged entity is required at least to establish their name and, if appropriate in view of the risk of money laundering or terrorist financing that exists in the particular case, collect further identifying information. 2If a new business relationship with an association under section 20 or a legal arrangement under section 21 is being established, the obliged entity must obtain proof of registration under section 20 (1) or section 21, or an extract of the data available via the transparency register. 3Details of the beneficial owner’s date and place of birth and address may be collected irrespective of ascertained risk. 4The obliged entity is required to satisfy itself of the veracity of the information gathered for the identification by taking risk-adequate measures; in doing so, the obliged entity must not rely exclusively on the information from the transparency register. 5If this relates to a person who is deemed to be a beneficial owner under section 3 (2) sentence 5, the obliged entity must take appropriate measures to verify the identity of this person. 6If the beneficial owners in the case of trusts or other legal arrangements under section 21 are designated by particular characteristics or class, the obliged entity must obtain sufficient information about the beneficial owner, to allow it to establish the identity of the beneficial owner at the time the transaction is carried out or the beneficial owner exercises its rights.
(5a) 1Insofar as the contracting party in an acquisition transaction under section 1 of the Real Estate Transfer Tax Act (Grunderwerbsteuergesetz) is acting for a legal structure within the meaning of section 3 (2) or (3), the notarising notary must, before carrying out the notarisation, verify the consistency of the identity of the beneficial owner on the basis of documentation of the ownership and control structure to be submitted in text form by the relevant contracting party. 2The documentation must be provided to the Financial Intelligence Unit and the law enforcement agencies on request.
(6) 1The contracting party of an obliged entity is required to provide the obliged entity with the information and documents necessary for the identification. 2If any changes arise in the course of the business relationship, the contracting party is required to notify the obliged entity of these changes without delay. 3The contracting party is required to disclose to the obliged entity whether it intends to establish, continue or conduct the business relationship or the transaction on behalf of a beneficial owner. 4The disclosure to the obliged entity must also include providing evidence of the beneficial owner’s identity. 5Sentences 1 to 4 apply, with the necessary modifications, to the parties to the contract governing the object of purchase within the meaning of subsection (2) who are not contracting parties of the obliged entity under section 2 (1) no. 14.
(7) Administrators of trusts and other legal arrangements under section 21 must disclose their status to the obliged entity and provide it with the information under section 21 (1) and (2) without undue delay if they initiate a business relationship in this position or carry out a transaction in an amount higher than the thresholds referred to in section 10 (3) no. 2, (5), (6) or (6a).