Section 23 GwG – Inspection of the transparency register, power to issue statutory instruments

(1) 1In the case of associations within the meaning of section 20 (1) sentence 1 and of legal arrangements under section 21, inspection is permitted for

  1. the following authorities, insofar as this is necessary for the performance of their legal functions:
    a) the supervisory authorities and the authority referred to in section 25 (6) and section 56 (5) sentence 2,
    b) the German Financial Intelligence Unit,
    c) the responsible authorities under section 13 of the Foreign Trade and Payments Act

d) the law enforcement agencies,
e) the Federal Central Tax Office and the local revenue authorities under section 6 (2) no. 5 of the Fiscal Code,
f) the authorities responsible for the recognition, prevention and elimination of threats,
g) the courts and
h) the entities referred to in section 2 (4),

  1. the obliged entities, provided they demonstrate to the registrar entity that the inspection is being carried out in order to fulfil their due diligence obligations in one of the cases set out in section 10 (3), and
  2. any member of the general public.
    2In the case of sentence 1 no. 3, in addition to the information specified in section 19 (1) nos. 1 to 4, only the month and year of birth of the beneficial owner, their country of residence and nationality are accessible for inspection unless all the information specified in section 19 (1) is already known from other public registers.
    (2) 1At the request of the beneficial owner, the registrar entity restricts inspection of the transparency register wholly or partially if the beneficial owner demonstrates to it that, taking into account all circumstances of the individual case, overriding legitimate interests of the beneficial owner stand in the way of an inspection. 2Legitimate interests are deemed to exist if:
  3. facts justify the assumption that the inspection would expose the beneficial owner to the risk of falling victim to one of the following criminal offences:
    a) fraud (section 263 of the Criminal Code),
    b) extortionate kidnapping (section 239a of the Criminal Code),
    c) hostage taking (section 239b of the Criminal Code),
    d) extortion or robbery-like extortion (sections 253, 255 of the Criminal Code),
    e) a punishable act threatening life or limb (sections 211, 212, 223, 224, 226, 227 of the Criminal Code),
    f) coercion (section 240 of the Criminal Code),
    g) threat (section 241 of the Criminal Code) or
  4. the beneficial owner is a minor or is incapacitated.
    3The beneficial owner is not deemed to have legitimate interests if the data is already accessible from the registers referred to in section 22 (1). 4Restricting inspection under sentence 1 is not possible vis-à-vis the authorities specified in subsection (1) sentence 1 no. 1, vis-à-vis obliged entities under section 2 (1) nos. 1 to 3 and 7 or vis-à-vis notaries. 5The registrar entity must prepare annual statistical data about the number of approved restrictions and whether the restrictions were approved under sentence 1 no. 1 or 2, publish it on its website and provide it to the European Commission.
    (3) 1Inspection requires prior online registration by the user and may be logged for the purpose of monitoring who has carried out an inspection. 2The registrar entity is not authorised to disclose to associations under section 20 and legal arrangements under section 21 who has inspected the information provided by the associations and legal arrangements about their beneficial owners.
    (4) The transparency register allows associations under section 20 (1) sentence 1 and legal arrangements under section 21 to be searched for in all stored data as well as all index data.
    (5) The Federal Ministry of Finance is authorised to determine, by means of a statutory instrument not requiring the consent of the Bundesrat, specific details of the inspection and restriction, particularly for the online registration and logging, such as the data to be logged and the time limits for deleting data logged under subsection (3), for the requirements for inspection under subsection (1) sentence 1 nos. 2 and 3, and for the requirements for restricting inspections under subsection (2).