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Canadian government publishes wide-ranging amendments to anti-money laundering laws

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Jun 09, 2018

On June 9, 2018, the Canadian Department of Finance has published wide-ranging draft amendments to regulations made under the "Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act 2018" (PCMLTFA) which will affect financial and non-financial entities that provide access to Canada’s financial system, including dealers in virtual currency and foreign money services businesses.

In a summary published by Osler, the objective of the proposed amendments is to bring Canada’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regime (AML/ATF Regime) into line with international standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental body of which Canada is a founding member, which promotes implementation of measures for combatting threats to the integrity of the international financial system. The FATF identified several deficiencies in its last evaluation of Canada in 2015 which have been addressed by proposed amendments in the following areas:

  • customer due diligence requirements are modernized and, in some respects, broadened
  • persons and entities dealing in virtual currency are regulated as money services businesses (MSBs)
  • foreign MSBs are subject to the Canadian AML/ATF Regime to the extent their activities are directed to Canadian customers
  • the deadline for filing suspicious transactions reports (STRs) is shortened from 30 days to 3 days
  • prepaid credit cards and similar open-loop payment products are treated as bank accounts
  • prior to launching new technologies, reporting entities are expected to assess the potential money laundering/terrorist financing risks posed by such technologies on their products and delivery channels
  • certain existing requirements are clarified and technical amendments are made

Review the draft amendments on the Government of Canada's website and the summary on Osler's website.

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