AML/CFT net widened

Legislation to extend the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime was introduced to the House yesterday.

The Bill will extend the AML/CFT Act to include lawyers, conveyancers, accountants, real estate agents, the New Zealand Racing Board and dealers in high-end goods – e.g. motor cars, jewellery and art – when engaged in large cash transactions.

The amendments represent the second phase in the AML/CFT Act, phase one of which has been in effect since 2013.

The Government has slashed its initial estimate of compliance costs from $1.6 billion over ten years to between $800 million and $1.1 billion.  The reduction reflects the fact that fewer people across all of the targeted occupations are now expected to come within the Act's purview than was originally thought.

A phased transition is planned, bringing in:

  • lawyers and conveyancers by 1 July 2018 (sensibly extended from the initial proposal of a 6 month implementation period)
  • accountants by 1 October 2018
  • real estate agents by 1 January 2019, and
  • high value dealers and the New Zealand  Racing Board (sports and race betting) by 1 July 2019.

An exposure draft of the Bill was released in December last year.  Further detail is available on the Ministry of Justice website here.

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Related topics: Anti money laundering; Money laundering; Financial services regulation

Financial services regulation

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