Anti-money laundering legislation: more, broader, higher

Legal Eubdate
10 September 2020

Since 15 August 2020, several changes to the anti-money laundering legislation (AML Act) have been in effect. These changes merit serious attention: from now on, more obligations are imposed on a broader range of persons, with higher sanctions in case of non-compliance.

Were you already subject to the AML Act? Then you need to make sure you are aware of a series of new obligations. It is no longer sufficient to identify representatives; now you are also obliged to verify their powers of representation. It goes without saying that new clients must be given a general notification about the GDPR obligations when you are processing their personal data.

You are now allowed to verify the identity of your clients using electronic means, such as itsme.

For the practical application of your AML policy, the Act now includes a list of "politically prominent functions" and specifies the "enhanced due diligence" measures required when "high risk" third countries are involved.

The rules now also apply to traders in artworks and providers of services in connection with virtual currencies or cryptocurrencies, among other categories. Top professional football clubs (playing in series 1A and/or 1B) and sports agents in the football sector now also fall within the scope of the AML rules.

At the same time, sanctions have not only been tightened, but they now also apply in the event of non-compliance with requirements imposed by your supervisory authority, such as the National Bank of Belgium or the FSMA.

These amendments come on top of  a series of – in many cases more important – changes. Is it time to cast a critical eye over your AML policy? Do not hesitate to contact us – we will be happy to assist!