Liberia’s journey towards achieving corporate transparency and tackling illicit financial flows presents a multitude of opportunities. However, these opportunities can only be maximised if the government has a clear understanding of the current regime on beneficial ownership, the gaps with this regime and the practical steps needed to make progress. This report combines desktop research and in-country stakeholder consultations to paint a clear picture of the beneficial ownership regime in Liberia using the framework of the Open Ownership Principles. It also makes tailored recommendations that can be implemented over the next two years to advance beneficial ownership transparency reforms in Liberia.
Key Learning Outcomes
- Title 5 of the Associations Law was amended in 2020 to provide a definition of a beneficial owner. However, research and consultations reveal that there are gaps in the legislative framework which comprehensive regulations on beneficial ownership could address.
- The level of awareness and understanding of beneficial ownership and disclosure obligations affects the level of compliance with beneficial ownership disclosure requirements.
- Therefore, in addition to designing and establishing a clear regulatory framework and user-friendly forms, creating awareness and improving understanding of disclosure requirements amongst key stakeholders is crucial.
- Government agencies that are integral to advancing beneficial ownership reforms have committed to working collaboratively, exchanging information, and institutionalising the planned beneficial ownership regulations and forms once published by the Liberia Business Registry.
- Given that Liberia is an early implementer of beneficial ownership reforms and the government is still developing its capacity to deliver on digital projects, it is feasible for the Liberia Business Registry to pilot the collection of beneficial ownership data with extractive companies. It could then use learnings from that process to launch the collection of beneficial ownership data from companies in every sector.
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