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Who and what we regulate: designated services and reporting entities

AUSTRAC regulates certain business activities in the financial, bullion and gambling sectors. These activities are called designated services in the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act).

These services are ‘designated’ in the Act because they have been identified as posing a risk for money laundering and terrorism financing.

If you provide one or more of these designated services and have a geographical link to Australia, you are a reporting entity. You have obligations under the Act, including reporting some business activities and transactions to AUSTRAC, record-keeping and having an AML/CTF program.

  • To find out if it’s likely that you offer designated services, you can answer a few questions to check if you need to enrol or register.
  • Once you know whether you provide designated services, you can find out about your obligations as a reporting entity.
  • If you are a reporting entity you must enrol with AUSTRAC. Some reporting entities need to register with us too. Find out more about how to enrol or register with AUSTRAC.

You can see the full list of designated services in Tables 1 to 4 of section 6 of the AML/CTF Act. However the lists below will give you a general idea of the designated services we regulate, and what kinds of businesses and organisations are often reporting entities.

Designated services

This lists below are not comprehensive, do not fully represent the tables in the Act, and are not a substitute for legal advice. If you aren’t sure whether the services or products you provide are designated services, you should get independent advice.

Reporting entities: types of businesses or organisations that typically provide designated services

A reporting entity is any individual, business or organisation that provides designated services.

You are a reporting entity because you provide one or more designated services, not because of the type of business or organisation you are.

The examples of reporting entities in the lists below are not comprehensive.

Geographical link test

Reporting entities only have AML/CTF obligations for designated services if these services have a geographical link to Australia.

To have a geographical link, the designated service must meet one of the following criteria:

  • the designated service is provided to a customer at or through the reporting entity’s permanent establishment in Australia
  • the entity is based in Australia, but the designated service is provided to a customer at or through the reporting entity’s permanent establishment in a foreign country
  • the entity is a subsidiary of a company that is based in Australia, but the designated service is provided to a customer at or through the subsidiary’s permanent establishment in a foreign country.

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: 6

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