Overview of AUSTRAC's international role
AUSTRAC has always played an important role in the international arena. Due to the nature of money laundering and major crimes, international cooperation and financial intelligence exchange with international counterparts has been an important function of AUSTRAC since its inception.
The world's security environment changed forever on 11 September 2001, following the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington. Subsequent attacks in Indonesia, Spain and the United Kingdom have highlighted the horrific social and economic consequences of terrorism and also drawn attention to issues associated with its financing.
The international community has become increasingly committed to strengthening anti-money laundering regimes around the world, and in doing so, preventing the sponsorship of terrorist groups and activities.
In response to the changed international environment, AUSTRAC's international role has been strengthened. AUSTRAC works both bilaterally and multilaterally to facilitate the exchange of financial information and to build an international environment hostile to money laundering, major crime, revenue evasion and the sponsorship of terrorism.
AUSTRAC's bilateral relationships include both information exchange, underpinned by Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) between AUSTRAC and other financial intelligence units around the world, and technical assistance and training initiatives in which AUSTRAC seeks to assist countries to develop stronger AML/CTF regimes.
AUSTRAC's multi-lateral relationships include involvement in the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering and provision of support to the Attorney-General's Department which leads the Australian representation at the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering.