Deadline approaches for Australia anti-money laundering rules

10 December 2008

Australia will introduce the "ongoing customer due diligence" component of its anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CTF) laws on December 12th.

Writing on Mondaq, lawyers Michael Levy and Rick Goldberg commented that the rules will require reporting entities to verify and monitor customer details and transactions on a rolling basis.

Under the new regulations, companies that are already required to collect and check information on a customer's identity must ensure that this "know your customer", or KYC, data is updated as necessary. They must also determine when further KYC information is needed.

Furthermore, companies will have to put in place a transaction monitoring program to identify suspicious transactions. These systems could be IT-based.

Australia's AML body, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analyst Centre (Austrac), requires that all firms under its jurisdiction are compliant with the new requirements by March 12th 2009 at the latest.

Once companies have implemented the new measures, they must retrospectively apply their monitoring program to all transactions occurring after December 12th.

Austrac has been responsible for overseeing the adoption of Australia's AML/CTF Act since 2006.

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