UAE’s New Laws on Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing
As part of the FATF program, the government of the United Arab Emirates released an updated and more comprehensive anti-money laundering law, which includes a list of violations as well as administrative sanctions imposed in order to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in the UAE.
The regulation is based on UAE federal legislation and is designed to comply with international Anti-Money Laundering (AML) / Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) standards. The UAE Ministry of Economy has obliged all DNFBPs to report suspicious activities through ministry’s electronic system to the FIU of the UAE Central Bank.
Individuals’ activities in the private sector, corporate service providers, and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professionals (DNFBPs) in combating money laundering and terrorism financing are among the 26 violations mentioned in Federal Decree-Law No. 20 of 2018, as well as Cabinet Decisions No. 74 of 2020, No. 10 of 2019, and Cabinet Resolution No. 58 of 2020.
The responsible firms were divided into four groups by the officials:
• Brokers and Real Estate Agents;
• Dealers of Precious Metals & Gemstones;
• Auditors and Accountants;
• Corporate Service Providers.
A described list of DNFBPs obligations can be found in Article 21 (Obligations of Financial Institutions and DNFBPs) Cabinet Decision No. 74 of 2020.
Registration Process and Deadline:
According to the government decision, businesses in above mentioned industries must register with the FIU (Financial Intelligence Unit) and in the goAML system. The deadline for registration is March 31, 2021. If a business fails to comply by the deadline, the business license of the company will be suspended.
After registering with the FIU, companies are required to follow other system-related procedures in accordance with the Decree-Law provisions, and, all STRs (Suspicious Transaction Reports) should be submitted in the goAML portal of the FIU.
Under the laws of the UAE, failure to report suspicious of money laundering or terrorist financing is a criminal offense.
Any violation of the Decree-Law and its Implementing Regulation, will be subject to administrative penalties, imposed by the MoE as the Supervisory Authority for DNFBPs. The fines range from AED 50,000 to AED 5,000,000 depending on the circumstances and the Supreme Committee for Fighting Money Laundering, Terrorism Financing, and Criminal Organizations’ evaluation.