Go to top of page

Chapter 1 - About the AUSTRAC compliance guide



The AUSTRAC compliance guide consolidates a range of AUSTRAC guidance material and replaces the AUSTRAC regulatory guide.

The guide relates to the obligations of reporting entities under the:

The guide:

  • outlines and explains the obligations under the AML/CTF Act, Rules and regulations and presents examples on how they operate
  • assists reporting entities to design, develop and implement systems and controls necessary to mitigate the risks of money laundering and terrorism financing.

The guide is not a regulatory instrument and reporting entities and other stakeholders must always refer to the AML/CTF Act, Rules and regulations to clarify an obligation.


The guide comprises ten chapters and three appendices:

Chapter 1 - About the AUSTRAC compliance guide

Outlines how to use the guide.

Chapter 2 - Designated services

Provides an overview of the designated services prescribed in the AML/CTF Act. Entities that provide one or more designated services are reporting entities under the AML/CTF Act and have AML/CTF compliance and reporting obligations.

Chapter 3 - Designated business group (DBG)

Provides guidance on forming a designated business group. Entities may form a designated business group under the AML/CTF Act for the purposes of complying with their AML/CTF obligations.

Chapter 4 - Enrolment requirements

Provides guidance on the requirement for all reporting entities to enrol with AUSTRAC.

Chapter 5 - Registration requirements

Outlines the registration requirements for:

  1. The AUSTRAC Remittance Sector Register for entities providing a designated remittance service.
  2. The AUSTRAC Digital Currency Exchange Register for entities providing a digital curency exchange service.

Entities must not provide remittance or digital currency exchange services before registering on the Remittance Sector Register or Digital Currency Exchange Register.

Chapter 6 - AML/CTF programs

Provides an overview of the requirements for an effective AML/CTF program.

Chapter 7 - AML/CTF reporting obligations

Details the reporting obligations for reporting entities under the AML/CTF Act, including:

Chapter 8 - AML/CTF record keeping obligations

Outlines and explains the AML/CTF record keeping obligations for reporting entities. It explains what information must be retained and the length of time it must be retained.

Chapter 9 - Exemptions from obligations under the AML/CTF Act

Provides an overview of the exemptions that may be granted under the AML/CTF Act, Rules and regulations and explains how the exemption processes and procedures operate.

Chapter 10 - Financial Transaction Reports Act

Provides an overview of the obligations for entities under the FTR Act. The FTR Act applies only to 'cash dealers'.

Industry specific guidance

Contains additional resources and specific guidance for some industry sectors.

Ready reckoner

Provided a summary of AML/CTF program requirements relating to identification and verification of customers and beneficial owners.


Provides a glossary of terms and abbreviations used within the compliance guide.

How to use this guide

This guide consolidates AUSTRAC guidance on reporting entities' AML/CTF obligations. It is not intended to be a prescriptive list of AML/CTF controls, policies and procedures. The guide has been developed to encourage reporting entities to manage their money laundering and terrorism financing risks within the AML/CTF legal framework. Each chapter includes links to any additional AUSTRAC guidance and other resources which may assist reporting entities in meeting and understanding their obligations.

The guide is primarily designed for reporting entities regulated under the AML/CTF Act. Cash dealers with obligations under the FTR Act should refer to Chapter 10 - Financial Transaction Reports Act.

Updating the guide

AUSTRAC reviews and revises this guide as required, and publishes a list of updates made to the guide

Assistance and feedback

AUSTRAC officers can provide general information to regulated entities, their staff and the public on the AML/CTF obligations, including the FTR Act. Enquiries and feedback on the AUSTRAC Compliance Guide can be directed to the AUSTRAC Contact Centre via:

Last modified: 17/12/2018 08:53