On 20 March 2015, the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (the “ACRA”) issued a set of draft guidelines aimed at helping corporate service providers (“CSPs”) understand the new legal requirements and enhanced regulatory framework that will be implemented when the ACRA (Amendment) Act 2014 (the “Amendment Act”) and the ACRA (Filing Agents and Qualified Individuals) Regulations (the “Regulations”) become effective.
The Amendment Act was passed in Parliament in April 2014 and is expected to come into effect in the second quarter of 2015. The Regulations which will support the enhanced regulatory framework are still being finalised. CSPs are generally made up of registered filing agents (“FAs”) and registered qualified individuals.
The objective of the draft guidelines is to enable a registered FA to interpret and comply with the terms and conditions in Part II of the First Schedule of the Regulations when the enhanced regulatory framework is implemented. Part II of the First Schedule of the Regulations, entitled “Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Measures”, contains the terms and conditions which apply to a FA who is registered under section 28F of Part VIA of the ACRA Act, when it, by way of business, prepares to carry or carries out transactions for a customer concerning activities specified in the Regulations. These terms and conditions set out the relevant international recommendations for the combating of money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation financing, established by the Financial Action Task Force.
The draft guidelines include a template Client Acceptance Form and a mandatory model internal policies, procedures and controls template for the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
Feedback by 15 April 2015
CSPs are invited to provide feedback on the draft guidelines. The submission deadline for written feedback is 15 April 2015. CSPs may also provide feedback in person or seek clarification on the enhanced regulatory framework or the draft guidelines by attending the outreach sessions jointly organised by the ACRA and the Singapore Association of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (SAICSA) on 15 April 2015.
The following reference materials are available on the ACRA website www.acra.gov.sg: