Consultation Document – Application of AML obligations to the Virtual Financial Assets industry

In light of the coming into force of the Virtual Financial Assets Act (“VFA Act”), the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (“FIAU”) has published a consultation document on the application of the anti-money laundering (“AML”) obligations to the Virtual Financial Assets (“VFA”) sector.

Based on the European Union’s approach to extended the scope of its AML regime to parts of the crypto-industry through Directive (EU) 2018/8432 (“5th AML directive”) where persons providing services in relation to cryptographic assets are considered as obliged entities with respect to their AML obligations, Malta taken the approach to immediately bring all service providers in relation to VFAs within the scope of its domestic AML framework.

Although the consultation document is not final, it sets out how the FIAU is set to expect VFA Agents, issuers of VFAs, and licence holders under the VFA Act to meet their AML obligations. The FIAU has issued a revised version of its Implementing Procedures – Part I for consultation, whereby it is being proposed that VFA Agents, VFA issuers and licence holders under the VFA Act are considered as ‘subject persons’ in terms of the Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism Regulations.

Major stakeholders and interested parties in the crypto and VFA industry are invited to submit their feedback in relation to the proposals contained in the consultation document and by the 23rd November 2018.

Please feel free to contact us with any queries on AML obligations in the VFA and crypto-industry.