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.
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, Canberra and Brisbane. You can contact our central Help Desk 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:
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:
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:
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Help Desk: Address: Law Courts PO Box 13173, Melbourne, Vic 8010 Facsimile: 03 8636 0508 Email: email@example.com 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 Help Desk Manager on: 1300 021 037 (local call cost within Australia).
How to contact us
The AUSTRAC Help Desk 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
The Help Desk is open Monday to Friday during the hours of 8.30am - 5.00pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time).
The Help Desk 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 Help Desk, 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'.
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:
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
Ph: 02 6120 2631
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.
Level 7, Tower A, Zenith Centre
PO Box 5516
Ph: 02 9950 0055
PO Box 13173
Ph: 03 8636 0500
Ph: 02 6120 2600
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.
For further information
The information contained in this publication is intended as a guide only. You should contact AUSTRAC's Help Desk if you require further information about this publication. This document was updated in June 2011 following public consultation.