AUSTRAC Service Charter

The AUSTRAC Service Charter outlines the standards of service that you can expect from us, with the aim of promoting an open and transparent approach to our service delivery.

The AUSTRAC Service Charter was developed in accordance with the Commonwealth Government's Client Service Charter Principles 2000. The principles provide guidance to government agencies in meeting high levels of service to the community.

Contents


About AUSTRAC

AUSTRAC is Australia's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulator and specialist financial intelligence unit.

Our purpose is to protect the integrity of Australia's financial system and contribute to the administration of justice through our expertise in countering money laundering and the financing of terrorism. We do this by overseeing compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act) and the Financial Transaction Reports Act 1988 (FTR Act).

We have offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. You can contact our central Contact Centre by telephone during business hours. You can access our online services via the internet.

We may also visit your premises as part of our supervisory program. In most instances we will advise you in advance of our proposed visits.


Who is covered by this Charter?

AUSTRAC deals directly with:

  • individuals and businesses with obligations under the AML/CTF Act and FTR Act
  • people travelling into and out of Australia with requirements to report currency holdings
  • the general public.

In our regulatory role we oversee compliance with the requirements of the AML/CTF Act and FTR Act by a wide range of financial services providers, bullion sellers, designated remittance service providers, the gaming industry and other specified reporting entities and cash dealers.


What you can expect from us

You can expect that we will:

  • provide high quality service, equitably and with integrity. We respect the diversity of the Australian community and we act impartially and with honesty when dealing with you
  • treat you with courtesy and respect at all times
  • provide an open and cooperative approach to assist you to meet your compliance obligations. We try to make it easy for you to understand your obligations by consulting regularly with the community and by providing products and services that meet your needs
  • respond to enquiries and requests in a clear and timely manner. We endeavour to answer all phone enquiries at point of call and we aim to respond to email queries and written correspondence within two working days
  • respect individuals' rights to privacy. We keep the information we collect about you confidential and we only use it for lawful purposes
  • make fair and equitable decisions in accordance with the FTR Act, AML/CTF Act, AML/CTF Rules, regulations and policy
  • review any concerns with the FTR Act or AML/CTF Act raised by regulated entities or the public.

Your obligations

Individuals and businesses with obligations under the AML/CTF and FTR Acts

Individuals and businesses captured by the AML/CTF Act and FTR Act are known to AUSTRAC as 'regulated entities'. AUSTRAC expects regulated entities to:

  • keep reliable records
  • provide accurate and honest information
  • submit transaction reports - international funds transfer instructions (IFTIs) and threshold transaction reports (TTRs)
  • monitor and report any suspicious behaviour demonstrated by your clients - suspicious matter reports (SMRs)
  • adopt a risk-based process in managing AML/CTF risk within your business through implementation of an AML/CTF program
  • provide an annual AML/CTF compliance report (if applicable)
  • enter and maintain your details on the register of providers of designated remittance services if you provide remittance services.

Some businesses such as motor vehicle dealers and solicitors continue to be captured under the FTR Act and their obligations include transaction reporting.

Travelling into and out of Australia

Travellers entering or departing Australia are required to report any currency they are carrying of $10,000 or more in Australian dollars, or the foreign currency equivalent. Note: Mailing or shipping currency of $10,000 or more in Australian dollars, or the foreign currency equivalent, must also be reported.

At the request of either a customs or police officer, travellers entering or departing Australia may also be required to declare whether they are carrying a bearer negotiable instrument (BNI). Common examples of BNIs are cheques, promissory notes, traveller's cheques, bearer bonds, money orders and postal orders.

The AUSTRAC website provides detailed information on regulated entities' obligations. AUSTRAC's supervision strategy can be located on AUSTRAC's strategies page.

What to do if you do not agree with a decision by AUSTRAC

AUSTRAC makes a number of decisions under various pieces of Commonwealth legislation that may affect you. Some examples of such legislation are the AML/CTF Act, the FTR Act, and the Freedom of Information Act 1982. If we have made a decision that directly affects you, you may have rights connected with the decision. This section of the Charter provides you with an overview of those rights and how to exercise them.

Step Commentary
1. Decision making process Decisions will be made within statutory timeframes (if applicable) or as soon as practicable.
2. Find out about the decision When we make a decision about you, we explain that decision.
3. Ask for the decision in writing Where appropriate, and upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the decision.
4. Internal review process If you are not satisfied with a decision that we have made, you may have the right to have the decision reviewed by an independent person within AUSTRAC. You can contact the Help Desk Manager on: 1300 021 037 (local call cost within Australia) to lodge a request for an independent review.
5. External review Some of our decisions may be reviewable by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) or other Commonwealth bodies. We will notify you in the event we make a decision that is reviewable by the AAT or other Commonwealth bodies.

Members of the public

If you have a general enquiry about AUSTRAC activities and programs you are welcome to contact the AUSTRAC Help Desk on 1300 021 037 or at help_desk@austrac.gov.au.


How you can tell us what you think of our services

AUSTRAC is committed to continuous improvement and we welcome your feedback. If you are not satisfied with our services you have the right to make a complaint. Complaints can be made in writing to the AUSTRAC Contact Centre:

All complaints are recorded and monitored and you will be kept informed during the resolution process. If you are not satisfied with the way your complaint is being handled you can contact the Contact Centre Manager on: 1300 021 037 (local call cost within Australia).


How to contact us

The AUSTRAC Contact Centre is the central contact point for external enquiries. These can be made by phone, email, mail and fax.

  • Address: Law Courts PO Box 13173, Melbourne, Vic 8010
  • Telephone: 1300 021 037 (local call cost within Australia)
  • Facsimile: 03 8636 0508
  • Email: help_desk@austrac.gov.au

The Contact Centre is open Monday to Friday during the hours of 8.30am - 5.00pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time).

The Contact Centre is closed on public holidays.

AUSTRAC aims to answer all phone queries at the point of call. However, if required, more complex queries are referred to specialist areas within AUSTRAC for further consideration.

We aim to respond to email queries and written correspondence in a timely manner. Generally, an initial response will be provided within two working days.

It is important to note that during peak periods there may be some delay in response times.

If you need an interpreter or translation service to assist you with an enquiry to the Contact Centre, we can provide one at no cost to you. Please call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 and ask them to call AUSTRAC on 1300 021 037.

If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can contact AUSTRAC through the free National Relay Service. TTY (teletypewriter) or computer with modem users: Phone 133 677 and then ask for '1300 021 037'. Speak and listen (speech-to-speech relay) users: Phone 1300 555 727 and then ask for '1300 021 037'.


AUSTRAC website

A range of information is published on AUSTRAC's website and you may find it useful to view the website to see if the information you require is available prior to contacting us. In line with our aim to improve services, we are currently reviewing our website to identify ways of enhancing the services we provide.


Your privacy and confidentiality

AUSTRAC will respect individuals' rights to privacy and confidentiality. Personal information collected by AUSTRAC will:

  • only be collected by lawful means
  • only be used for lawful purposes
  • not be disclosed without your consent unless permitted by law.

The information collected may be disclosed to certain revenue, law enforcement, national security, regulatory and social justice bodies and disclosed to other Commonwealth and international bodies pursuant to Part 11, Division 4 of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006.

All records containing personal information are stored securely in accordance with AUSTRAC's Security Policy.


You can request documents that we hold

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) gives every person the right to obtain access to documents held by AUSTRAC, subject to specific exemptions which are set out in the FOI Act.

The FOI Act also creates a right to amend/correct misleading or out-of-date information; however, it does not create a right to have documents created or destroyed.

Requests for documents can be sent to AUSTRAC either by post or email to:

Freedom of Information Officer
C/-Attorney-General's Department
3-5 National Circuit
BARTON  ACT  2600

Ph: 02 6120 2631
Fax: 02 6120 2601
Email: INFO_ACCESS@austrac.gov.au

Potential FOI applicants should also check the information AUSTRAC has published under its Information Publication Scheme (IPS) and FOI disclosure log to see if the information they seek is already publicly available.


Reporting on our performance

AUSTRAC standards of service delivery are regularly monitored to ensure ongoing high levels of service to you.

AUSTRAC service standard outcomes are reported on each year in the AUSTRAC Annual Report under the section about the Service Charter and in the section on Help Desk performance.


AUSTRAC offices

Sydney

Level 7, Tower A, Zenith Centre
821 Pacific Highway
Chatswood NSW 2067

PO Box 5516
West Chatswood NSW 1515

Ph: 02 9950 0055
Fax: 02 9950 0054

Melbourne

Level 30
140 William Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

PO Box 13173
Law Courts PO
Melbourne Vic 8010

Ph: 03 8636 0500
Fax: 03 8636 0501

Canberra

Level 2
4 National Circuit
Barton ACT 2600

Mail to:
C/-Attorney-General's Department
3-5 National Circuit
Barton ACT 2600

Ph: 02 6120 2600
Fax: 02 6120 2601


How to find out more about AUSTRAC services

Information is available on the AUSTRAC website about AUSTRAC, obligations under the AML/CTF Act and FTR Act with links to relevant legislation.


Further information

The information contained in this publication is intended as a guide only. You should contact the AUSTRAC Contact Centre if you require further information about this publication. This document was updated in June 2011 following public consultation.