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The Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth) (“Act”) was passed to shield businesses and the community from money laundering, terrorism funding and other serious crimes. The act has recently been amended and effected on 18 June 2021. The way these laws operate can affect the way you or your business can, carry, report, receipt and move money. It is important to stay up to and comply with these laws to avoid severe criminal and civil penalties.

Customer identification procedures

Reporting entities (generally financial, gambling or related service providers)  are now able to depend on customer identification and verification carried out by a third party under sections 37A and 37B of the Act. These amendments protect the reporting entity from liability in relying upon a third party so long as certain requirements are met. The aim of the amendment is to increase efficiency of information sharing between the reporting entities and other bodies.

Correspondent banking relationships (financial institutions only)

Financial institutions are now barred from entering into a correspondent banking relationship with a financial institution that allows their accounts to be utilised by a shell bank as per section 95 of the Act. Therefore, it is vital for businesses to conduct adequate due diligence upon potential and current correspondent banking relationships.

Tipping-off offences

While the reporting entities are still prohibited from revealing the making of suspicious matter reports, the amendment has established a few exceptions. Section 123 of the Act can now assist reporting entities to engage with legal professionals for legal advice and external auditors. The reporting entities are also able to share information with corporate groups’ members located outside of Australia, dependent on certain conditions as well as contacting the relevant law enforcement agency interested in obtaining information about suspicious activity.

Cross-border movements of money

The amendment streamlines sections concerning transfers of money overseas. Travellers must now report all cross-border movements of physical currency (i.e. cash, cheques, other types of promissory note) with a value $10,000.00 or more under section 53 with strict liability applying. Section 54 sets out the requirements of such reporting.  As such, if you are physically moving currency across the Australian Border you should seek advice regarding the reporting of such amounts.

If you require advice regarding the amendments to the AML/CTF or other financial regulation advice, Straits Lawyers are here to help. We are now offering online services in both English and Chinese.

Simply book an online consultation with us via this link: https://straits-lawyers.square.site/product/online-consultation-/11?cs=true or email us at info@straitslawyers.com or call at 08 8410 9069 to arrange an appointment.

 

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Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice and Straits Lawyers will not be legally responsible for any actions you take based on this article.