If your business exchanges money (whether Australian or foreign currency) for digital currency, or digital currency for money, then you have obligations under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act). These obligations include:
- registering and enrolling your business with AUSTRAC
- adopting and maintaining an AML/CTF program that mitigates and manages your business’s money laundering and terrorism financing risks
- reporting suspicious matters and threshold transactions to AUSTRAC
- keeping records relating to customer identification, transactions, and your AML/CTF program.
Registration and enrolment
Before providing digital currency exchange (DCE) services in Australia, you must enrol and register with AUSTRAC. A registration application also meets enrolment requirements.
There are criminal and civil penalties for providing DCE services while unregistered.
How to develop an AML/CTF program
To help you understand your obligations and implement an AML/CTF program for your business, we have developed a guide for DCE providers:
This industry-specific guide was developed in collaboration with industry bodies representing the DCE sector, and will help you to:
- understand whether you must be registered with AUSTRAC
- understand your AML/CTF obligations
- consider what is important when preparing an AML/CTF program.
The AUSTRAC compliance guide and templates will also help you develop and tailor an AML/CTF program to your business needs.
The Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security issued policy principles to the AUSTRAC CEO. These will be in place until 2 October 2018.
During that time, AUSTRAC can only take enforcement action against a DCE provider if satisfied that they have failed to take reasonable steps to comply with relevant provisions.
DCE providers must be fully compliant with their obligations under the AML/CTF Act and AML/CTF Rules when the policy principles period expires.