New Zealand Law Society - AML second phase date still unknown

AML second phase date still unknown

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Officials are still working on implementation of the second phase of anti-money laundering legislation which will end the exemption of some groups from the requirements of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009, Justice Minister Amy Adams says.

Lawyers are included in the groups which are currently exempted.

"Officials are currently undertaking scope and timing advice for implementing the second phase of reforms, which I will consider in due course," Ms Adams has said in response to a written parliamentary question from Green Party MP Metiria Turei.

Lawyers' obligations under the Financial Transactions Reporting Act 1996 – which includes requirements such as carrying out due diligence on customers' identities and reporting suspicious transactions – will continue until the phase two reforms are implemented.

In July 2015 a spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice said initial policy work on phase two had begun.

In answer to another question, Ms Adams said she had not taken any advice or papers to Cabinet concerning the second phase of the legislation.

She said the second phase has not been completed because it will be "substantial and complex" and involve imposing compliance and reporting requirements on additional entities.

"It is important that we take care to implement reforms that are practicable and effective, and that we build on the experience of sectors currently governed by the Act."

Another question from Ms Turei asked why some groups were still exempt.

Ms Adams says the institutions which were targeted in phase 1 - banks, casinos, and financial institutions - were assessed as carrying the highest risk of money laundering/terrorist financing.

"It was intended that other professions - including real estate agents and lawyers - would be brought under the Act through 'Phase 2' reforms at a later stage."

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