AUSTRAC reminds regulated businesses of their obligations regarding compliance reports

Maria Nikolova

The compliance report asks firms about how they have met their AML/CTF obligations over the 2018 calendar year.

AUSTRAC has earlier today informed Australian business of their obligations regarding their annual compliance reports.

The compliance report asks questions about how firms have met their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) obligations over the 2018 calendar year. Regulated businesses must complete the report by March 31, 2019.

AUSTRAC uses the answers firms provide to assess their AML/CTF compliance and identify where additional guidance and support is needed to help meet AML/CTF obligations.

To lodge a compliance report, firms have to:

  • go to their AUSTRAC Online account;
  • expand the ‘My Business’ menu;
  • select ‘Compliance Report’;
  • select ‘Open Compliance Report’.

Let’s note that in its recently published Annual Report 2017-18, AUSTRAC evaluated highly the rules for digital currency exchange (DCE) providers introduced in the spring of 2018.

AUSTRAC has continued to work closely with and support the Attorney-General’s Department and the Department of Home Affairs, to develop and implement the first phase of reforms resulting from the statutory review of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act). On December 7, 2017 the Parliament passed the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Amendment Act 2017. After a public consultation period, AUSTRAC registered AML/CTF Rules to implement the amendments to the AML/CTF Act.

This allowed AUSTRAC to progress initiatives that were identified as priorities, including the regulation of digital currency exchange (DCE) providers. These reforms came into force on April 3, 2018, with a transitional period to enable the newly-regulated DCE sector to implement plans to meet their obligations and achieve full compliance within 12 months.

Let’s recall that, under the new regulation, DCE providers are required to:

  • enroll and register with AUSTRAC;
  • establish, implement and maintain an AML/CTF program, which sets the framework for businesses to comply with their obligations, including customer due diligence requirements;
  • report threshold transactions and suspicious matters to AUSTRAC, and
  • keep appropriate records.

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