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  • Writer's pictureKW KRUK I WSPÓLNICY

Expected amendment to the act on counteracting money laundering and financing of terrorism



The Government Legislation Centre has published information on the preparation by the Ministry of Finance of a draft amendment to the Act on Counteracting Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing and Certain Other Acts - currently work on the draft is in progress. The planned date of adoption of the draft by the Council of Ministers was set for the second quarter of 2020.

The purpose of the amendment to the act is: "the implementation into the Polish legal system of the provisions of Directive (EU) 2018/843 of the European Parliament and of the Council on 30th of May 2018. (so-called ‘V AML Directive’) amending Directive (EU) 2015/849 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering or terrorist financing and amending Directives 2009/138 / EC and 2013/36 / EU”. The expected date of implementing the provisions of the directive is 10th of January, 2020.

The solutions included in the draft act mainly concern:

  • clarifying the list of obligated institutions, in particular adding to it entrepreneurs engaged in the activity of storing, trading or intermediating in art works, collectors' items and antiques (with regard to transactions with a value equal to or exceeding the equivalent of EUR 10,000 - regardless of whether or not a transaction is a single operation, or is several operations that can be related),

  • entrepreneurs who are not tax advisors but provide tax advice have also been added to the list of obligated institutions,

  • qualifying the General Inspector of Financial Information as a financial intelligence unit and extending the scope of statistics kept by the GIFI,

  • clarification of the rules of applying financial security measures by obligated institutions, including the obligation to use them in the event of change in data relating to a customer or beneficial owner, the obligation to obtain a confirmation of registration from a potential customer in the relevant register, the obligation to verify data on the series and the number of the identity card was abolished, the obligation to document activities related to the verification of the identity of the beneficial owner, if it is a person holding a senior management position,

  • an increase in the threshold for waiving financial security measures from EUR 50 to EUR 150 for electronic money,

  • clarification of the rules for storing information and documents obtained as a result of applying financial security measures by obligated institutions - further storage will be possible only if it is necessary to ensure the proper conduct of criminal proceedings or in cases related to counteracting money laundering or terrorist financing,

  • introduction of the obligation for EU Member States to publish and update the list of public positions and functions considered as exposed political positions - in Poland, the list of such positions will be defined in the form of a regulation of the minister competent for public finance,

  • introducing solutions that concern the regulation of activities related to the provision of services to companies and trusts and activities related to the provision of services in the field of virtual currencies - introduction of the institution of registers,

  • obligation to establish the ownership and control structure of the client within the trust institution,

  • extension of the catalogue of sanctions for violations by obligated institutions under the provisions of the Act,

  • introduction of data verification mechanisms contained in the Central Register of Real Beneficiaries, in particular the obligation of obligated institutions to record any discrepancies between the established facts and data available in the CRBR. In addition, the actual beneficiary may be punished with a financial penalty for failure to provide the necessary information to the entity obliged to make an entry in the CRRB,

  • enabling employees and other persons acting for the benefit of obligated institutions to "safely" report to the Inspector General or the competent prosecutor of suspicions of committing a crime or fiscal offense, and to ensure protection against negative actions, e.g. repressive actions or criminal threats.

The main objective of the project is to implement the provisions of the V AML Directive into the Polish legal system, which increase the transparency of financial flows and at the same time increase the effectiveness of regulations. The draft also includes provisions based on regulatory and supervisory experience aimed at improving the functioning of the national anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing system. In accordance with the opinion issued by the Legislative Council, the draft should be amended to clarify the introduced and changing provisions, as well as to indicate the verification instruments of substantive law institutions, thanks to which the assumptions of statutory regulations will be able to function effectively. Nevertheless, the Legislative Council stated that the draft may be the subject of further legislative work.

At this moment, the bill is in the Committee on European Affairs and it is difficult to say when it will be published in the Journal of Laws and what the exact content will be, as work is still ongoing and changes are introduced.


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