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Registration in anti-money laundering (AML) for Businesses in the UAE

The deadline for non-financial businesses is March 31; failure to register may result in closure.

The Ministry of Economy (MoE) has listed the businesses that need to register in the anti-money laundering systems before March 31.

Referred to as designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs), they have been asked to register in the Financial Intelligence Unit (goAML) and the Committee for Commodities Subject to Import and Export Control system (Automatic Reporting System for Sanctions Lists).

Such businesses were given an extended grace period till March 31 to register, in order to avoid penalties, which include licence cancellation and closure.

It is among the several measures adopted by the government to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism in the UAE.

The MoE also underlined the importance of adopting measures to counter money laundering. Failure to do so result in fines ranging from Dh50,000 to Dh1 million – which can be doubled to as much as Dh5 million.

The ministry explained that a wide range of non-financial business and activities are “most exposed to money laundering risks”. These have been divided into four main categories.

Brokers and real estate agents:

When entering into operations in the interest of their clients for purchase and sale of real estate.

Dealers of precious metals and gemstones:

When they perform any single-cash transaction or several seemingly related transactions with a value of Dh55,000 or more.

Independent auditors and accountants:

When they prepare, conduct or implement financial operations for the benefit of their clients, related to the following activities:

– Buying and selling real estate.

– Managing money that the client owns.

– Managing financial, savings or stock accounts.

– Contributing to establishing, operating or managing companies.

– Establishing, operating or managing companies, or legal arrangements.

– Buying and selling commercial entities.

Corporate service providers and trust funds:

When they undertake or execute an operation for the benefit of their clients or on their behalf in relation to the following activities:

– Work as an agent in establishing companies.

– Working or preparing someone else to work as a director or company secretary, or as a partner in the company.

– Providing a registered office, business address, place of residence, address for correspondence, administrative address of a legal person, or legal arrangement.

– Act as trustee for a direct trust fund or to perform a similar function for another form of legal arrangement.

– Working or preparing another person to act as a shareholder for another person.

Source : Khaleej Times