New Zealand Law Society - Bill for phase 2 of AML/CFT targeted for mid-2017

Bill for phase 2 of AML/CFT targeted for mid-2017

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Justice Minister Amy Adams has told Parliament that the Government is working to have a bill to provide for phase two of the anti-money laundering measures passed by mid-2017.

In the Hansard report of her response to an oral question from Labour MP Grant Robertson on 1 November 2016, Ms Adams said the introduction of the bill "may now occur early next year to ensure that we do what we can to minimise the cost of the reforms to New Zealand".

Phase two will bring a group including lawyers, accountants and real estate agents into the legislative framework.

Mr Robertson asked Ms Adams in what way the process of implementing phase two had been accelerated "as she and the Prime Minister promised in May this year?"

"It had not originally been our intention to have the reforms passed by July, the middle of next year," Ms Adams replied.

"Now we want to make sure that the legislation is passed by that time. Previously it would have been into 2018 before the legislation was intended to be in place."

Asked by Mr Robertson if it was her intention that the details of property buyers and sellers will be captured under phase two, Ms Adams said the Government had made it clear that [phase two] would extend to lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, and high-value goods dealers.

"Further detail of that will be made apparent when the legislation is made available," she said.

Estimated compliance costs

Responsing to a further question asked by Mr Roberston on 2 November 2016, Hansard reports Ms Adams as stating that compliance costs involved in the implementation of phase two had been assessed in net present terms as being up to $1.6 billion over 10 years.

Ms Adams was unable to confirm Mr Robertson's request that she confirm "the official advice she has received" that of the $1.6 billion of criminal funds being laundered in New Zealand, 56% involves the purchase of real estate, and 26% involves the work of lawyers and accountants.

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