Anti-Money Laundering (AML) in the UAE

Anti-Money Laundering (AML) in the UAE

Requirements to register on the AML system by 31st March, 2021

In accordance with the Federal Decree-law No. (20) of 2018 on Anti-Money Laundering and pursuant to the Cabinet Decision No. (3/1) of 2019 and Cabinet Decision No. (28/4) and (10) of 2019, the Ministry of Economy issued a new Circular on the Anti Money Laundering AML regulations in the UAE. Businesses and companies that are Designated Non-Financial Businesses (“DNFBPs”) are required to register in the “goAML” system by 31st March, 2021.

According to Article 3 Cabinet Decision No. (10) of 2019, a DNFBP is a firm that conducts one or more of the following activities:

  1. Real Estate agent involved in buying and selling of real estate;
  2. Dealer of precious metals and stones;
  3. Company Service Providers;
  4. Auditors and accountants; and
  5. Law firms.

Not completing the registration by the close of business on 31 March 2021, the MOE will consider that the firm has contravened Article 20(2) of the Cabinet Decision No. (10) of 2019 for failing to put procedures in place for the reporting of the Suspicious Transactions.

Common questions on the AML in the UAE:

What is the goAML:
goAML is an anti-money laundering reporting platform created by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to control organized crimes. The platform will comfort the Financial Intelligence Unit of UAE to hinder money laundering, financing terrorism, and other unlawful financial activities.

Why register on the goAML:
Registration is required to submit suspicious transaction reports (STRs) to the goAML. goAML is a universally accepted electronic system to assemble and analyze financial and non-financial information to defy money laundering and combat the financing of terrorism.

Money laundering non-compliances penalties in UAE:
The Ministry of Economy has stipulated heavy penalties for organizations that neglect to comply with the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating Financing of Terrorism requirements by the due date. Organizations that disregard to do so will face fines ranging from Dh50,000 to up to Dh1 million and can be raised to Dh5 million dependent on the arrangements of the law.

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Read full Circular Here.

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