Amedments to the PMLFTR relating to the submission of STRs and administrative sanctions that can be imposed by the FIAU

On the 1st June 2020, the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (the “FIAU“) issued a notice informing involved parties that by means of Legal Notice 214 of 2020 (the “Legal Notice”), a series of amendments were made to the Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism Regulations (the “PMLFTR”).
The amendments are based on technical compliance shortcomings identified by the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (“MONEYVAL”) assessors within the PMLFTR. Indeed, substantial amendments were made to Regulations 15 and 21 of the PMLFTR while further minor amendments have also been made to clarify certain requirements as well as to enhance the legislative framework in place for the prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism.
Amendments to Regulation 15 of the PMLFTR
The purpose for the amendments to regulations 15(3) and 15(7) is to revise the timeframe for the submission of Suspicious Transaction Reports (“STRs”) by subject persons and supervisory authorities respectively. The amendments oblige subject persons and supervisory authorities to make prompt submissions of STRs to the FIAU, instead of the previous 5 working days submission period.
The FIAU noted that further guidance and clarifications will be provided in the coming weeks to the subject persons and supervisory authorities on the requirements to submit STRs in a timely manner, mainly through amendments to Chapter 5 of the FIAU’s Implementing Procedures (Part I).
Amendments to Regulation 21 of the PMLFTR
Any administrative penalty enforced by the FIAU in accordance with polices and procedures established by its Board of Governors, is now being clearly affirmed in a statutory instrument, through the amendment of Regulation 21(3).
It is also important to note, the FIAU is now empowered to impose administrative sanctions on senior officials within a subject person including directors, the Money Laundering Reporting Officer and the officer responsible for AML/CFT compliance within a subject person who have caused or contributed to the AML/CFT breaches committed by that subject person and the penalty that can be imposed should not be less than Euro 1,000 but not more than Euro 250,000.
The FIAU will also have the power to recommend to any relevant supervisory authority, suspension or preclusion of the senior official from exercising any of the said functions within that or any other subject person, not only when an administrative penalty on the individual concerned is imposed, but also in the absence of such penalty.
Please feel free to contact us should you require further information in relation to the PMLFTR.