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.
Invitation to provide comments to the current FATF proposal to revise the FATF AML/CTF standards
AUSTRAC would like to highlight the opportunity to provide your views to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on proposals contained in its June 2011 consultation paper titled The Review of the Standards - Preparation for the 4th Round of Mutual Evaluation (second public consultation) (PDF, 167KB).
FATF continues to express its wish to hear the views of the private sector as part of its ongoing work to maintain the effectiveness of the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) standards.
The paper sets out proposals regarding:
- beneficial ownership (Recommendations 5, 33, 34)
- data protection and privacy (Recommendation 4)
- group-wide compliance programs (Recommendation 15)
- wire transfers (Special recommendation 7)
- targeted financial sanctions in the terrorist financing and proliferation financing contexts
- the Financial Intelligence Unit (Recommendation 26)
- international cooperation (Recommendation 40)
- adequate/inadequate implementation of the FATF Recommendations (including Recommendations 9, 21, 22)
- risk based approach to supervision
- politically exposed persons (Recommendation 6).
View the consultation paper (PDF, 167KB) on FATF's website.
The proposals, once adopted, will become part of the globally accepted standards on anti-money laundering, which strongly influences Australia's anti-money laundering approach, and it is important the FATF is able to take account of industry views in the course of developing these proposals.
Comments should be sent to the FATF Secretariat no later than Friday 16 September 2011, preferably in electronic form to firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments received will be made publicly available through the FATF website.
AUSTRAC and the Attorney-General's Department (AGD) would appreciate a copy of any responses to the FATF Consultation Paper. Copies can be sent to Ilsa.Christ@austrac.gov.au and Timothy.Goodrick@ag.gov.au.
Separately, AUSTRAC and AGD will continue to be represented on the FATF Expert Groups that have been set up to review the recommendations. If you would like to provide any direct input to AUSTRAC or AGD in this context, please write to Ilsa Christ at the above email address or call on (02) 9950 0751.