In April 2016, the Attorney-General’s Department released its Report on the Statutory Review of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 and Associated Rules and Regulations (Report).
The Report set out 84 recommendations aimed at strengthening Australia’s AML/CTF regime and implementing a more efficient and effective regulatory framework.
In response to this, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) released a set of proposed amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Rules Instrument 2007 (No.1) (Cth) (AML/CTF Rules) on 24 April 2017. AUSTRAC anticipates that these amendments will provide regulatory benefits to industry.
Key amendments include:
- expanding the exemptions from the requirement to collect and verify information about beneficial owners in Rule 4.12.2 to apply to subsidiaries of foreign listed public companies;
- inserting a new Part 4.15 to provide for alternative identification procedures, including self-attestation for customers that a reporting entity is unable to identify using the usual customer identification procedure. These might include homeless persons, people living in remote areas, and people affected by natural disasters. Such procedures would only be able to be used in circumstances of low ML/TF risk.
- requiring a reporting entity to identify, mitigate and manage ML/TF risk for new designated services, delivery methods and technologies, and changes in the nature of the business relationship, control structure or beneficial ownership of its customers;
- requiring a reporting entity to be able to demonstrate the independence of any reviewer of Part A of its AML/CTF Program.