Chapter 7 - AML/CTF reporting obligations

Contents


Introduction

The Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act) imposes ongoing transaction reporting obligations and compliance reporting obligations on reporting entities. The AML/CTF Act also requires individuals to report cross-border movements of physical currency and bearer negotiable instruments.

This chapter provides an overview of the AML/CTF Act reporting obligations. Cash dealers and solicitors with reporting obligations under the Financial Transactions Reports Act 1988 refer to Chapter 10 - Financial Transaction Reports Act.


Background

Ongoing reporting obligations

Transaction reports

Under the AML/CTF Act there are three types of transaction reports reporting entities must submit to AUSTRAC:

Threshold transaction reports (TTRs)

International funds transfer instruction reports (IFTIs)

Suspicious matter reports (SMRs)

Cross-border movements

Individuals and businesses, including reporting entities, must report cross-border movements of physical currency of AUD10,000 or more (or the foreign currency equivalent). If required by an Australian Customs and Border Protection or police officer, persons who are entering or leaving Australia must complete a report detailing any bearer negotiable instruments (such as travellers cheques, cheques or money orders) they are carrying, of any value.

Cross-border movement reports

AML/CTF compliance reporting obligations

Reporting entities must submit AML/CTF compliance reports to AUSTRAC annually (or as prescribed in the AML/CTF Rules). These reports provide AUSTRAC with information about the reporting entity's compliance with the AML/CTF Act, Regulations and AML/CTF Rules. Some reporting entities are exempt from the requirement to provide an AML/CTF compliance report.

AML/CTF compliance reports

Tables 1-3 below, summarise reporting obligations under the AML/CTF Act.

Tables 1-3: Summary of reporting obligations

Transaction reports

Report type

Summary of reporting obligation

Reporting time frame

References

Threshold transaction reports (TTRs)

If a reporting entity provides a designated service that involves the transfer of physical currency or e-currency of AUD10,000 or more (or foreign currency equivalent), the reporting entity must submit a TTR to AUSTRAC.

Within 10 business days after the day the transaction occurred

Section 43 of the AML/CTF Act; Chapters 19 and 37 of the AML/CTF Rules.

International funds transfer instruction reports (IFTIs)

If a reporting entity sends or receives an instruction to or from a foreign country to transfer money or property - either electronically or under a designated remittance arrangement (DRA) - the reporting entity must report an IFTI-E (electronic) or IFTI-DRA to AUSTRAC.

Within 10 business days after the day an instruction was sent or received

Sections 45 and 46 of the AML/CTF Act; Chapters 16, 17 and 51 of the AML/CTF Rules.

Suspicious matter reports (SMRs)

If a reporting entity forms a suspicion at any time while dealing with a customer (from enquiry to providing a designated service or later) on a matter that may be related to an offence, tax evasion or proceeds of crime, the reporting entity must submit an SMR to AUSTRAC.

Offences include money laundering, terrorism financing, operating under a false identity or any other offence under a Commonwealth, state or territory law.

24 hours after the time the relevant suspicion is formed if it relates to the financing of terrorism.
Three business days after the day the relevant suspicion was formed in all other cases.

Section 41 of the AML/CTF Act; Chapter 18 of the AML/CTF Rules.

 Cross-border movements

Report type

Summary of reporting obligation

Reporting time frame

References

Cross-border movement of physical currency (CBM-PC)

Persons entering or departing Australia must report any currency they are carrying of AUD10,000 or more (or foreign currency equivalent). This includes mailing or shipping currency of AUD10,000 or more (or foreign currency equivalent) into or out of Australia.

Before the physical currency is sent or carried out of Australia, or carried into Australia
Within five business days after receiving physical currency sent to Australia

Sections 53-58 of the AML/CTF Act; Chapters 24-26 of the AML/CTF Rules.

Cross-border movement of bearer negotiable instruments (CBM-BNI)

Persons entering or departing Australia must report - when requested by an Australian Customs and Border Protection or police officer - the movement of bearer negotiable instruments (such as travellers cheques, cheques, money orders) of any amount into or out of Australia.

Immediately upon request by an Australian Customs and Border Protection or police officer

Section 59 of the AML/CTF Act; Chapters 24-26 of the AML/CTF Rules.

 AML/CTF compliance report

Report type

Summary of reporting obligation

Reporting time frame

References

AML/CTF compliance reports

Unless an exemption applies, reporting entities must submit an AML/CTF compliance report to AUSTRAC. The report provides AUSTRAC with information about reporting entities' compliance with the AML/CTF Act, Regulations and Rules.

Annually or as prescribed under Chapter 11 of the AML/CTF Rules

Section 47 of the AML/CTF Act; Chapter 11 of the AML/CTF Rules.

Reporting methods

How do reporting entities submit transaction reports and suspicious matter reports to AUSTRAC?

The simplest way to submit transaction reports is electronically through AUSTRAC Online. AUSTRAC provides three methods for electronic reporting:

  • Data entry: TTRs, IFTIs and SMRs can be completed and submitted manually via AUSTRAC Online. This reporting method may be suitable for reporting entities which submit low volumes of reports.
  • Spreadsheet: TTR and IFTI data can be entered into a spreadsheet template provided by AUSTRAC. The spreadsheet can be accessed and submitted to AUSTRAC via AUSTRAC Online.
  • Extraction: This is the best reporting option for larger businesses which capture and store transaction data electronically. A program extracts the relevant transaction information from the reporting entity's database and collates it in a single file, which is transmitted to AUSTRAC via AUSTRAC Online.

Reporting entities which submit less than 50 reports per year, or do not have internet access, may use a paper form, which is available by contacting the AUSTRAC Contact Centre.

How do reporting entities submit AML/CTF compliance reports to AUSTRAC?

AML/CTF compliance reports can be submitted electronically using AUSTRAC Online. Alternatively, reporting entities can request a paper form by contacting the AUSTRAC Contact Centre.

How are cross-border movements of physical currency and cross-border movements of bearer negotiable instruments reported to AUSTRAC?

Cross-border movements of physical currency and bearer negotiable instruments are usually reported at the Customs examination area of an airport or shipping passenger terminal when a person is entering or leaving Australia. Cross-border movement - physical currency (CBM-PC) and cross-border movement - bearer negotiable instrument (CBM-BNI) reporting forms are available from Australian Customs and Border Protection officers at Australian international airports and sea ports.

The mailing or shipping of physical currency of AUD10,000 or more (or foreign currency equivalent) into or out of Australia must be reported to an Australian Customs and Border Protection, a police officer or directly to AUSTRAC. Reporting forms can be obtained by contacting the AUSTRAC Contact Centre. The report must be submitted before sending the currency out of Australia. When receiving currency from outside Australia, the report must be submitted by the recipient within five business days of receiving the currency.

Accuracy and timeliness

Why is it important to submit accurate reports within the specified time frames?

Timely and accurate transaction and cross-border movement reports help AUSTRAC and its partners detect, deter and disrupt criminal and terrorism activities. AUSTRAC analyses the reports it receives to uncover patterns of criminal activity, including money laundering and terrorism financing. AUSTRAC disseminates this financial intelligence to its domestic and overseas partners to assist in their investigations. The information greatly enhances the intelligence held by AUSTRAC and is used by its partner agencies to combat crime.

Additional information

AUSTRAC's AML/CTF Act reporting policy specifies the approved methods for submitting transaction reports and the processes for implementing those methods.

AUSTRAC publishes sample report forms, educational materials, XML schemas and report file format specifications for each type of transaction report. These are available by contacting the AUSTRAC Contact Centre at contact@austrac.gov.au or phone 1300 021 037 (a local call within Australia).

See the Enrolment and registration page for further information on opening an AUSTRAC Online account.

Last modified: 14/11/2016 14:52