09 Jun 21

Anti-Money Laundering legislation - key changes

The Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Act 2021 became effective on 23rd April 2021.

The Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing laws and regulations of Ireland are applicable to all ‘Designated Persons’ including Special Purpose Vehicles providing ‘Schedule 2’ services and registered with the Central Bank of Ireland for this purpose.

Some key changes:

  • Beneficial Ownership Information – requirement to ascertain that information concerning the beneficial ownership of a customer is entered in the relevant beneficial ownership register prior to establishing a business relationship.

  • Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) – definition broadened to include “any individual performing a prescribed function”. It is now also permissible for a ‘Designated Person’ to continue monitoring a former PEP in accordance with the assessed risk.

  • Enhanced Customer Due Diligence – additional detail on due diligence measures required when dealing with a customer established or residing in a high-risk third country.

  • Amendment of the ‘Tipping Off’ Defence – expanded to provide for an additional defence in relation to the sharing of information in group situations.

  • Customer Due Diligence on E-money Instruments – the value limits for carrying out customer due diligence on e-money instruments (such as pre-paid cards) has been lowered from the existing threshold of €250 to €150.

  • New categories of ‘Designated Persons’, including letting agents (in respect of transactions for which the monthly rent is at least €10,000), virtual currency providers (providers engaged in exchange services between virtual and fiat currencies), high-value art dealers (in respect of transactions of at least €10,000 in value), and tax advisors (the scope of persons who fall within the definition of tax advisor is extended).

Get in touch with our Director of Legal and Compliance, Máiréad Lyons, to discuss any of these changes and how they might affect your business further.