What’s Going On?
The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) has announced new anti-money laundering (AML) regulation.
Why Does It Matter?
The country’s democratic, light touch approach makes a welcome change to heavy handed regulatory attack from other countries.
AUSTRAC stated that crypto-exchanges operating in Australia must submit to new AML regulations from April 3. This follows a request by the Australian Taxation Office for input from taxpayers as to how deductions arising from crypto-currency profits should be gathered.
The AUSTRAC site states that from 3 April 2018 businesses are required to meet AML/CTF obligations, including:
- adopting and maintaining an AML/CTF program to identify, mitigate and manage money laundering and terrorism financing risks
- identifying and verifying the identities of their customers
- reporting to AUSTRAC suspicious matters, and transactions involving physical currency of $10,000 or more keeping certain records for seven years
Companies have a six-month grace period where the authorities can “only take enforcement action if a DCE business fails to take ‘reasonable steps’ to comply.” They also have a registration period of until 14 May 2018. The website states: “There will be criminal offence and civil penalty consequences if you provide digital currency exchange services without being registered.”