The Department of Internal Affairs is getting closer to finalising guidance for the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act for the legal sector.
It will be available before Christmas.
The DIA told LawPoints that lawyers and conveyancers who attended the guidance workshop in Wellington on 17 October provided some valuable feedback on the draft guidance to make it easier to understand and absorb.
In response to suggestions made at the workshop, the guidance will further clarify what is meant by “Designated Business Groups”, and “In the ordinary course of business”
As the supervising agency for AML/CFT Phase 2, the Department has been receiving high levels of interest from lawyers and conveyancers keen on understanding more about how they will be affected and how to comply.
"DIA will be opening up the lines of communication with the entire sector as we move closer to 1 July 2018 and establishing the first year of sector compliance," it says.
Working closely with New Zealand Law Society, DIA are building a database of New Zealand lawyers which will help them fulfil its supervisory function from 1 July 2018 onwards.
"In the first half of next year DIA will start contacting law firms to identify compliance officers, and continue to provide education and assistance where required," it says.
The DIA says getting used to the new compliance requirements will take some time and the sector is encouraged to make the most of the upcoming learning opportunities provided by DIA and NZLS. In addition to the guidance released around Christmas through their website, DIA are planning a series of roadshows around the country early next year to build on the information already available.
"There will be a live streaming session on 28 November sponsored by DIA and free to all NZLS members. You will need to register," it says.
The roadshows and web streaming sessions are not intended as a substitute for reading the legislation and guidance, but taking advantage of the learning opportunities available will help lawyers and conveyancers build a view of what compliance looks like and how DIA and the sector can work together.