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Exemptions from AML/CTF obligations

In certain circumstances, reporting entities can be exempt from some of their AML/CTF compliance and reporting obligations.

Exemptions can be made in three ways.

  1. They are set out in the AML/CTF Act. These exemptions apply to all reporting entities that meet the criteria.
  2. A reporting entity, group of reporting entities or an industry association can apply to AUSTRAC to create a new exemption through the AML/CTF Rules. AUSTRAC consults with industry and other government agencies before making such an exemption, which is then registered and tabled in Parliament. These exemptions apply to all reporting entities and/or designated services that fit the criteria.
  3. A reporting entity can apply to AUSTRAC to have exemptions or modifications granted specifically to them. Find out how to apply for exemptions and modifications.

Exemptions are not a way for you to avoid meeting your obligations. We will only grant an exemption where it is clearly required. Factors that we will take into account in assessing any application include:

  • the business or organisation covered is at low risk of being exploited for money laundering or terrorism financing purposes
  • the Act was not intended to apply to the particular type of business or organisation when the Act was developed
  • the costs and effort of complying would be unreasonable compared to the risks the business or organisation faces
  • the business or organisation would suffer a competitive disadvantage if it was required to comply with the Act.

The exemptions listed on this page are those set out in the Rules and apply to all reporting entities that meet the relevant criteria.

You can also see lists of exemptions and modifications granted to specific reporting entities.

List of exemptions by designated service

The following list sets out those exemptions that apply to specific designated services, as defined in section 6 of the AML/CTF Act, and which are set out in the AML/CTF Rules.

We have provided a link to the original explanatory statement and have included the relevant chapter number. Explanatory statements set out a Rule’s purpose, the reasons behind the Rule, its potential impact and how it will operate.

You should make sure you fully understand the legislation before deciding that an exemption applies to you. If you’re not sure whether a particular exemptions applies in your circumstances, you should seek independent legal advice.

Financial services

All services listed in Table 1 in section 6 of the AML/CTF Act (financial services)

Items 2 and 3: Opening accounts/adding signatory

Items 6 and 7: Making a loan and transactions

Item 8: Factoring a receivable

Item 17: Provision of bill of exchange, promissory note or letter or credit by ADI

Item 25: Issuing a travellers' cheque

Item 26: Cashing or redeeming a travellers' cheque

Item 29 and 30: Electronic funds transfer instructions

Items 31, 32 and 32A: Designated remittance arrangements and operating a network

Items 31 and 32: Designated remittance arrangements

Items 33 and 35: Acquiring or disposing of a security, derivative or foreign exchange contract on behalf of another/Issuing or selling a security or derivative

Items 33: Acquiring or disposing of a security, derivative or foreign exchange contract on behalf of another

Item 33, 34, 46, 51 and 53: Acquiring or disposing of a bill of exchange, promissory note or a letter of credit on behalf of another/Acquiring or disposing of a bill of exchange, promissory note or a letter of credit on behalf of another/Custodial or depository service/Collecting or holding physical currency/Delivering physical currency

Item 35: Issuing or selling a security or derivative

Items 37, 38 and 39: Issuing life or sinking fund policy/Accepting a premium/Making a payment

Items 42(a) and 43(a): Accepting a contribution roll-over or transfer in superannuation fund/Cashing interest in a superannuation fund

Items 43 and 45: Cashing interest in superannuation or Approved Deposit Fund/Cashing interest in Retirement Savings Account

Item 46: Custodial or depository service

Item 47: Safe deposit box

Items 48 and 49: Guarantee a loan/Make payment as guarantor

Item 50: Exchanging currency

Bullion

All services listed in Table 2 in section 6 of the AML/CTF Act (bullion)

Gambling services

Items 1, 2 and 4: Receiving or accepting a bet, placing or making a bet on behalf of a person and paying out winnings in respect of a bet

Items 6 and 9: Games of chance or of mixed chance and skill

Items 7 and 8: The exchange of money and gaming chips or tokens

Items 5 and 10: Eligible gaming machine venues

Items 11 - 13: Opening an account, allowing a person to become a signatory and allowing a transaction to be conducted (online)

Item 14: Exchanging one currency for another

The content on this website is general and is not legal advice. Before you make a decision or take a particular action based on the content on this website, you should check its accuracy, completeness, currency and relevance for your purposes. You may wish to seek independent professional advice.

Last updated: 2 Jul 2019
Page ID: 139

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