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Consultation now open on Rules for AML/CTF reforms

27 January 2021

Reforms have been made to strengthen Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws.

The reforms, known as Phase 1.5, will increase the resilience of our financial system against criminal threats, while making it easier for businesses to understand and comply with their obligations.

A summary of the changes for AUSTRAC reporting entities is included below.

Implementing the changes

There will be a transition period for businesses to implement the reforms, and we will provide guidance during this time to support you.

Draft Rules for review and consultation

The draft Rules to support the implementation of the Phase 1.5 reforms are now available for review and consultation.

Read the draft Rules and submit your feedback

Summary of changes for reporting entities

Customer due diligence

These reforms make it clear that customers must be identified before providing a designated service, except for very limited circumstances. They also expand the circumstances where you can rely on customer identification by another reporting entity.

Tipping off

There will be expanded exceptions to tipping-off provisions that allow information from suspicious matter reports (SMRs) to be shared with an external auditor, or offshore members of the same corporate or designated business group that are regulated by laws that give effect to some or all of the FATF recommendations .

Correspondent banking

These changes affect financial institutions. The reforms include clearer prohibitions against entering into a relationship with a bank that allows its accounts to be used by a shell bank, in addition to clearer and strengthened due diligence and risk assessment requirements during a correspondent banking relationship.

Additional measures

In addition to these changes, the Phase 1.5 reforms support cooperation and collaboration to detect, deter and disrupt money laundering, terrorism financing, and other serious crimes, and increase the AUSTRAC CEO’s ability to provide access to AUSTRAC information to law enforcement partners.