The Board agreed that Armenia has made satisfactory progress in implementing Requirement 2.5 on beneficial ownership of the 2019 EITI Standard.
The Board's decision
Following the Validation of Requirement 2.5 on beneficial ownership that commenced on 1 January 2021, the Board came to the following decision on 10 June 2021:
Armenia has made “satisfactory progress” in implementing the initial criteria for Requirement 2.5 on beneficial ownership of the EITI Standard. The Board commends the government, mining companies and civil society for working together to establish an appropriate legal framework and reporting practices for beneficial ownership disclosures. A public online register is under development and is expected to further improve the accessibility and usability of beneficial ownership information. In the second phase of implementing Requirement 2.5, Armenia should ensure that all companies holding or applying for a mining license disclose their beneficial owners. Information on the legal owners of all extractive companies should be comprehensively disclosed. Progress will be assessed in Armenia’s next Validation, commencing on 1 July 2023. In accordance with the EITI Standard, Armenia’s MSG may request an extension of this timeframe or request that Validation commences earlier than scheduled.
Following Armenia's Validation, the EITI Board concluded on 9 July 2020 that Armenia had made “satisfactory progress” in implementing the 2016 EITI Standard (see Board decision 2020-39/BC-292).
In June 2019, the EITI Board agreed a framework for assessing Requirement 2.5 on beneficial ownership. To ensure that progress on Requirement 2.5 would be assessed in all countries within a reasonable timeframe, the Board agreed that any country that had achieved overall “satisfactory progress” in a Validation that commenced or was concluded in 2019 would undergo a beneficial ownership Validation on 1 January 2021. The Board upheld this decision when agreeing on the transition to a new Validation model. The decision applies to four countries: Armenia, Germany, Nigeria and Norway.
The assessment follows the Board-agreed framework for phase 1 of assessing beneficial ownership disclosures. The Board agreed that between January 2020 and December 2021, the Validation would focus on whether the implementing country had met a set of initial criteria and provide recommendations for strengthening beneficial ownership disclosures. The progress in meeting other EITI Requirements has not been assessed as part of these Validations. Due to the transition to the new Validation model, the Board agreed an assessment on Requirement 2.5 only and did not agree an overall assessment of progress in implementing the 2019 EITI Standard.
The Secretariat’s draft assessment was shared with the Armenian MSG on 26 February 2021. In accordance with the 2019 Validation procedure, the MSG provided feedback on the draft assessment on 9 March 2021. The Secretariat’s assessment was then finalised for review by the Validation Committee.
The EITI Board agreed the following recommendation to strengthen implementation in Armenia. Progress in addressing the full set of criteria of Requirement 2.5 will be assessed in the next Validation commencing on 1 July 2023:
- To strengthen implementation ahead of the second phase of Validation of Requirement 2.5 from January 2022 onwards, Armenia is required to disclose the legal and beneficial owners of all companies holding or applying for extractive licenses, including the legal owners of closed joint-stock companies. Armenia is encouraged to strengthen the ongoing work on verification procedures and data quality, including through automation of the process and additional consultations with mining companies.