Which significant innovations were made to the legislation of Belarus in the field of combating money laundering and financing of terrorism in 2020?
Law No. 14-Z of May 13, 2020 “On Amending the Law of the Republic of Belarus “On Measures to Prevent the Legalization of Criminal Income, Financing Terrorist Activities and Financing the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction” were adopted in the Republic of Belarus and will enter into force in six months after its official publication. This Law was published on May 19, 2020 on the National Legal Internet Portal.
The changes were developed jointly by the State Control Committee, the National Bank, the Ministry of Justice and other state bodies.
The law introduces a number of significant innovations in the field of anti-money laundering, financing of terrorist activities and financing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (hereinafter - AML / CFT).
In particular, it provided for the creation of an interdepartmental commission to coordinate the actions of state bodies and organizations that are participants in the national anti-money laundering system (more than 15 ministries and departments). Such a mechanism is necessary for a detailed study and coordination of decisions in the field of AML / CFT.
The list of entities fulfilling the requirements of the AML / CFT legislation has been expanded. Before the adoption of the Law, the list included 17 categories of individuals, including banks, leasing and insurance organizations, forex companies, postal service providers, notaries, auditors, real estate registrars. With the adoption of the Law, the list has been supplemented by special financial organizations, managing organizations of investment funds, tax consultants, crypto-exchanges, crypto exchangers and other High Technology Park residents operating using digital signs (tokens). At the same time, control over cryptocurrency exchanges, crypto exchangers and other High Technology Park residents in the field of combating money laundering and terrorist financing will be carried out by High Technology Park Administration.
The Law provides for such advanced mechanisms as remote identification and verification of the client’s identity, as well as the ability to complete these processes within a reasonable time frame that does not create risks in the sphere of AML / CFT. The Law also establishes the obligation of legal entities to determine their beneficial owners (individuals who exercise control over them), to have up-to-date and reliable information about them, to store the information received and submit it to state bodies and other organizations in accordance with the AML / CFT legislation.
In addition, the legislator provides for Law provisions aimed at increasing the transparency of information on the activities of non-profit organizations (foundations, public associations, etc.) in order to counter their possible involvement in financing terrorist activities and laundering criminal proceeds.
The adoption of the Law will help to increase the effectiveness of the AML / CFT system of Belarus and bring the legislation of our country closer to international standards in this sphere.