Changes to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) Amendment Instrument 2018 are now in force. This means, if you currently provide Digital Currency Exchange (DCE) services or intend to provide these services in the future, you will need to be registered with AUSTRAC.

The timeframes for registration are outlined below:

Affected ServicesRequired Action
If you are already enrolled with AUSTRAC before 3 April 2018
(eg: you provide another designated service regulated under the AML/CTF Act)
You must update your details by 11 June 2018
If you provided DCE services before 3 April 2018 and are not enrolled with AUSTRACYou must apply for registration by 14 May 2018
If you start to provide DCE services between 3 April 2018 and 14 May 2018You must apply for registration by 14 May 2018
If you intend to start providing DCE services from 15 May 2018You must apply for registration before you start providing DCE services

Registering with AUSTRAC brings DCE providers within the ambit of the AML/CTF Act and Rules and requires DCE providers to meet various obligations, including:

  • adopting and maintaining an AML/CTF program, which complies with the AML/CTF Rules, to identify, mitigate and manage ML/TF risk;
  • identifying and verifying the identities of their customers;
  • making reports to AUSTRAC in respect of suspicious matters and transactions involving physical currency of $10,000 or more; and
  • keeping records relating to customer identification, transactions and the AML/CTF program for a period of seven years.

Transitional arrangements are in place from 3 April until 2 October 2018 which provide that during this period, AUSTRAC will only take enforcement action if a DCE provider fails to take reasonable steps to comply with the new Rules. When determining whether a DCE provider has taken reasonable steps to comply, AUSTRAC will consider:

  • any transition plans or other measures in place outlining actions and timeframes to achieve compliance;
  • the extent of oversight by the Board or Chief Executive Officer of the DCE provider of any transition plan;
  • whether sufficient resources have been allocated to enable compliance; and
  • whether the DCE provider complies as soon as practicable in respect of any customer who is assessed to be high risk.

Sophie Grace can assist you with all aspects of AML/CTF compliance, including registering your DCE business with AUSTRAC and implementing a robust AML/CTF program tailored to your business. Please contact us for further information.