The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Amendment Bill has been given a third reading by Parliament.
The bill extends the current AML/CFT regime to lawyers, conveyancers, accountants, real estate agents, sports and racing betting and businesses that deal in certain high value goods.
Unless an earlier date is set by Order in Council, the new legislation will not apply to law firms until 1 July 2018. It will apply to conveyancers and incorporated conveyancing firms from 1 July 2018, to accounting practices from 1 October 2018, to real estate agents from 1 January 2019 and to the New Zealand Racing Board or a high-value dealer from 1 August 2019.
On referral by the Minister of Justice, the Ministry of Justice must consider the operation of the new provisions before 1 July 2021.
Justice Minister Amy Adams says extending the AML/CFT to the phase 2 sectors will strengthen the ability fo prevent, detect and prosecute many types of criminal activity.
"It is estimated these reforms will disrupt up to $1.7 billion of fraud and drug crime, prevent up to $5 billion in broader criminal activity, and reduce social harm by $800 million over ten years,” she says.
“This Bill will help prevent New Zealand being used by international criminals to launder money, and help protect our hard fought reputation as being one of the least corrupt countries in the world and a good place to do business.”
To assist lawyers with preparing for the new regime, the New Zealand Law Society has started providing practical information and guidance. Material is added to the Legal Practice section on the Law Society website.
This includes information on what lawyers can do now to start preparing, what the supervisory department, the Department of Internal Affairs, is planning, and information on the growing number of businesses and organisations offering advisory services and assistance.