Due Diligence

How do I correctly identify my client?

Monday, July 13, 2020

Under the 5th anti-money laundering directive (5AMLD) all galleries, auction houses, dealers and agents are required to conduct adequate due diligence for items over €10,000.

In order to stay on the right side of these new art market regulations, minimum checks must be performed as to contribute to your due diligence reports.

When we sell our works of art, in some cases the person we deal with directly will likely be an employee within a business, foundation, trust or corporate structure such as a Plc. We may refer to them as an intermediary and our point of contact.

In such instances however, upon completion of the transaction, the individual taking possession or ownership of the art object - may well be the director of the business or other figure(s) of seniority within the organisation.

These individuals are referred to as the Beneficial Owner, are there can sometimes be more than one.
In English, the Beneficial Owner is the human being - or beings - taking possession of the Art Object. It is not the business and it might not be our point of contact with whom we are conducting our transaction.

In any instance, we have an obligation to ascertain whom will be the true owner - the Beneficial Owner - and substantiate our findings.

We must correctly identify our Beneficial Owner prior to completing our transaction and in doing so obtain a suitable identity document(s) such as ID, Passport, EU Identity Card when dealing with an individual.

When selling to corporate structures, trusts or foundations we need to obtain documents confirming formation of the company or organisation.

We’ll need to keep a record of this information and for sensitive information - such as identity documentation - we will need to ensure it is encrypted in compliance with GDPR and data protection.

Learn more about how to identify clients, businesses and Beneficial Owners here.