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City of Hamilton HM 11, Bermuda
Report of the activities of the Barristers & Accountants AML/ATF Board (the “Board”) for the year ending 31st March 2020
This report is published in accordance with Section 5(3)(b) of the Proceeds of Crime (Anti-money Laundering and Anti-terrorist Financing Supervision and Enforcement) Act 2008 (the “Act) for the calendar year ending 31st March 2020.
The most significant event of the preceding year is the successful conclusion of the Financial Action Task Force Mutual Evaluation Report (“MER”). This process culminated in a plenary session in Antigua attended by the Supervisor, Kim Wilson. Bermuda overall was awarded the top position worldwide for technical compliance and was among the top ten for effectiveness of supervision. That success embraced the reforms made to the rules and regulations governing the legal and accounting professions referred to in the Board’s reports from preceding years. Those modernised rules cover entry and exit to the professions with requirement for a Fit and Proper Person certification, extended rules for compliance with AML/ATF supervisory directions, emphasised training, and required the ring-fencing of corporate administrative business (which is higher risk), among other things. The MER, in accepting without comment the Board’s new risk-based technical regime, implicitly therefore recognises that the Board meets the technical standards expected by FATF.
As to effectiveness, general observations applicable to all Bermuda’s supervisors in the non-financial sector were made in the MER report. They had the following nature: supervised entities to conduct self-risk analysis; focus on the filing of suspicious activity reports; supervised entities regularly to check their risk methodologies; supervisory understanding of sectoral risk; adequate staffing; training. The Board has already implemented procedures for all these items. In particular, the Board fully revised its supervisory framework and hired additional staff to support the Supervisor. Click here for the full report.
To read the Chairman's report in its entirety please access the link above.
The Government of Bermuda's Ministry of Legal Affairs on 12 May 2020 issued a Minsiterial Statement based on updated guidance from FATF on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing controls in higher risk jurisdictions.
As the nature and level of risk differ between the jurisdictions listed, it is important the advisory and annexes are read in their entirety. Please the below link to the document issued by the Government of Bermuda.
Click the links to access the documents, or click here to view them on CTATF's website.
Please review the below linked document issued by the Government of Bermuda's Ministry of Legal Affairs on 9 August 2019.
This post is a courtesy from the Board to all Regulated Professional Firms (RPF). RPFs are reminded it is their responsibility to regularly check and stay up-to-date with the official Bermuda Government notices issued from the NAMLC office and the FSIU of the Ministry of Legal Affairs.
This is to advise of recent amendments to Bermuda’s Sanctions Regime. The UK recently implemented:
The Information Provisions OT Order was created in order to bring designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs) into scope for enforcement under certain Orders in Council that are in force in the overseas territories. The said order and the Explanatory Memorandum can be found on the UK Government’s legislation website here.
The amendments contained in the Information Provisions OT Order automatically apply to Bermuda as the amendments are in respect of specific OT Orders that are already in force in Bermuda. Industry is reminded that Bermuda amended the International Sanctions Regulations 2013 (“ISR”) on 17 September 2018 by way of the International Sanctions Amendment Regulations 2018, which brought DBFBPs into scope for enforcement under Bermuda’s sanctions regimes. The IRS was amended to ensure that DNFBPs were captured as the UK had not yet brought DNFBPs into scope in its overseas territories. As noted above, the UK have now brought the Information Provisions OT Order into force, which means that the provisions set out in Regulation 2A of the ISR are no longer necessary. Therefore the INTERNATIONAL SANCTIONS AMENDMENT (NO. 2) REGULATIONS 2018 was made on 20 December, 2018 and came into force on 21 December 2018, in order to revoke Regulation 2A of the ISR. The International Sanctions Amendment (No. 2) Regulations 2018 was gazetted in the Official Gazette on 21 December 2018 and can be found here.
In light of the amendment you should ensure, where applicable, that the Information Provisions OT Order is read in conjunction with the OT Order. Please be reminded that OT Orders in force in Bermuda are set out in Schedule 1 of the ISR.
For the sake of clarity, the effect of the Information Provisions OT Order is to impose requirements on relevant financial institutions to provide information to the relevant authority of the relevant territory if they know or suspect that a customer is the subject of an asset freeze for the purposes of the relevant financial sanctions regime, or has committed certain offences under the relevant Order. These requirements are extended to specified businesses and professions, namely auditors, casinos, dealers in precious metals and stones, external accountants, independent legal professionals, real estate agents, tax advisors, and trust or company service providers.
As noted above, these requirements have been in force in Bermuda since 17 September, 2018.
Please be advised that effective 9 January, 2018, the Chemical Weapons (Sanctions) (Overseas Territories) Order 2018 came into force. The said Order and the Explanatory Memorandum can be found on the UK Government’s legislation website here.
The Chemical Weapons Order was made by the UK Privy Council on 12 December, 2018 and was laid before the UK Parliament on 19 December, 2018, and gives effect to the sanctions regime created by the European Union in Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1544 on 15th October 2018 concerning restrictive measures against the proliferation and use of chemical weapons; and in Council Regulation (EU) 2018/1542 of 15th October 2018 concerning restrictive measures against the proliferation and use of chemical weapons.
The Chemical Weapons Order was brought into force via Bermuda’s International Sanctions Regulations 2013, which were amended by the INTERNATIONAL SANCTIONS (CHEMICAL WEAPONS) AMENDMENT REGULATIONS 2018, which was gazetted in the Official Gazette on 21 December 2018, and came into force in Bermuda on 9 January 2019, and can be found here.
Please review the below statement issued by Financial Sanctions Implementation Unit of the Ministry of Legal Affairs:
Please be advised that The Cabinet Office issued a Press Release on 26 November, 2018, regarding an Advisory issued by the Minister of Legal Affairs on the 'Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing controls in higher jurisdictions: Requirement to apply Enhanced Due Diligence in higher risk jurisdictions.' The said advisory has been posted on the Government website and can be found here. The Minister noted that the Advisory is especially relevant to those entities that have or are considering any business relationships with the specified jurisdictions or individuals or corporate entities in such jurisdictions.
The Advisory is in response to a Financial Action Task Force (FATF) statement dated 19 October 2018, and advises regulated sectors and relevant persons to:
DPRK, Iran, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen are also subject to financial sanctions in Bermuda. Therefore, regulated sectors and relevant persons also need to comply with the relevant financial sanctions measures that are set out in the respective Overseas Territories Orders for each regime.
Please note that as the nature and level of risk in the specified jurisdictions differ and it is important that the advisory and the annexes are read in their entirety.
Please see the attached document relating to the registration requirements for firms and renewal requirements for current RPFs:
This document contains recent legislative changes to AML/ATF laws in Bermuda and was issued by the Government of Bermuda's National Anti-Money Laundering Committee.
CFATF have released a new research corner featuring both a 'Money Laundering 101' and 'Terrorist Financing 101' series on understanding what they are and how they occur. Click the links to access the documents, or click here to view them on CTATF's website.
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