Transposition of the 5th AMLD – FIAU issues proposed amendments to the PMLFTR

On the 14th October 2019, the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit ("FIAU") issued a consultation on the proposed revised version of the Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism Regulations ("PMLFTR") in order to transpose into Maltese law the provisions of Directive (EU) 2018/843 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 (the "5th AMLD").
The changes being proposed include the following:
Introduction of new subject persons: The definition of "relevant activity" will include certain additional non-financial businesses such as persons trading or acting as intermediaries in relation to works of arts and in cases where the value of the transaction amounts to EUR 10,000 or more. Persons providing assistance or advice on tax matters and real estate agents when acting as intermediaries in the letting of immovable property where the monthly rent amounts to EUR 5,000 or more, will also be subject to the obligations set in the PMLFTR. In this regard, the definition of "occasional transaction" will also be amended;
Legal certainty on the definition of politically exposed persons: The definition of politically exposed persons will now consist an exhaustive list of the prominent public functions and the proposed revised version confirms that this covers both local and international politically exposed persons;
Streamlining of enhanced due diligence: Measures that subject persons are required to undertake when conducting enhanced due diligence in case of business relationships, occasional transactions and transactions involving non-reputable jurisdictions will be harmonised;
Customer due diligence ("CDD") exemptions for electronic money: The exemption criteria will be made more stringent including the lowering of permissible storage and re-loadable values of anonymous prepaid instruments to EUR 150. Furthermore, the FIAU will still be able to exempt issuers of prepaid instruments from carrying out CDD and allow acquirers to accept payments via anonymous prepaid instruments provided that the acquirers can ascertain that these instruments were issued in compliance with the criteria set in the PMLFTR; and
Amendments in relation to CDD: These include the new requirement on subject persons to obtain proof that beneficial ownership has been duly registered with a designated beneficial ownership register and an explicit prohibition for subject persons for keeping anonymous safe deposit boxes. It is also important to note that subject persons will be required to apply CDD measures on existing customers not only on a risk-based approach, but also in cases when they have a legal obligation to do so under any other law.
To this end, the FIAU invites subject persons to review the proposed amendments and submit their comments and feedback by the 5th November 2019.
Feel free to contact us if you require any further information on the proposed amendments to the PMLFTR.