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AML/CFT regulations released at end of 2017

08 January 2018

Four important regulations for implementation of phase 2 of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 were gazetted on 21 December 2017.

The first tranche of regulations for phase 2 support changes made to the AML/CFT Act in 2017, to bring lawyers and conveyancers, real estate agents, accountants and some other groups within the legislation.

Lawyers will be required to meet the requirements of the Act and the regulations from 1 July 2018.

The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (Requirements and Compliance) Amendment Regulations 2017 prescribe transitional rules and Schedule 1 prescribes the form of suspicious activity reports. Schedule 2A prescribes the form of the annual report which must be lodged by all entities which come within phase 2.

The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (Exemptions) Amendment Regulations 2017 extend the expiry date of the principal regulations to 30 June 2020. The amendment regulations make changes resulting from the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Amendment Act 2017, such as changing "suspicious transaction report" with "suspicious activity report". A new regulation, 24A, declares a number of financial activities not to be occasional activities for the purposes of the principal Act. It also declares that activities carried out by casinos or the New Zealand Racing Board are not occasional activities.

The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (Cross-border Transportation of Cash) Amendment Regulations 2017 revoke the expiry date of the principal regulations and increase the threshold value of cash where reports on movement are required from $9,999.99 to $10,000.00.

The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (Definitions) Amendment Regulations 2017 prescribe $10,000 as s the applicable threshold value for paragraph (a) of the definition of "occasional transaction" in section 5(1) of the Act. The amendment regulations also progressively amend and finally revoke regulation 20(1)(a) of the principal regulations (which provides exemptions from the status of reporting entity for lawyers, conveyancers, accountants, incorporated law firms, incorporated conveyancing firms, and real estate agents) to harmonise with the staged application of the Act to those professions. Another important change is to prescribe the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008 as a listed enactment within the meaning of section 140(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009.

Further information

Further information on implementation of phase 2 and its application to lawyers can be found on the Law Society website here.

The supervising agency, the Department of Internal Affairs, is also providing information and resources here.

Last updated on the 8th January 2018