Guidance on AML/CTF programs
Guidance is available to help the digital currency exchange (DCE) services sector to:
- consider whether you must be registered with AUSTRAC
- understand your anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) obligations, and important considerations when preparing an AML/CTF program.
The guidance includes links to the AUSTRAC compliance guide to explain the parts of an AML/CTF program. It also includes templates to help you to develop and tailor the program to your business needs.
AUSTRAC developed this guidance in collaboration with the industry bodies representing the DCE sector.
If your business provides exchange services to convert fiat currency (for example, in Australian or US dollars) into digital currency and vice versa, you are required to:
- enrol and register your business with AUSTRAC
- adopt and maintain an AML/CTF program that reflects your business’s operations
- report suspicious matters and threshold transactions to AUSTRAC
- keep records relating to customer identification, transactions, and your AML/CTF program.
Have you enrolled with AUSTRAC?
You must enrol and register with AUSTRAC before you provide digital currency exchange services.
From 3 April 2018, transitional arrangements will apply to existing and new DCE providers. This is to allow time to implement the new AML/CTF obligations.
Registration and enrolment
The dates by which DCE providers should enrol/register with AUSTRAC are:
- if you are already enrolled with AUSTRAC before 3 April 2018 (for example, you provide other designated services regulated under the AML/CTF Act)—update your enrolment details by 11 June 2018
- if you provided DCE services before 3 April 2018 (but are not already enrolled with AUSTRAC)—apply for registration by 14 May 2018
- if you start to provide DCE services between 3 April and 14 May 2018—apply for registration by 14 May 2018
- if you intend to start providing DCE services from 15 May 2018—register with AUSTRAC before you start providing these services.
Note: A registration application also meets enrolment requirements.
You may continue providing DCE services while your registration application is being assessed.
Criminal offence and civil penalty consequences will apply after 14 May 2018 for providing DCE services while unregistered.
These transitional arrangements are detailed in the Exemption – Transitional Arrangements – Digital Currency Exchange Providers instrument which is available on the Exemption page.
Other AML/CTF obligations
The Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security has issued policy principles to the AUSTRAC CEO. These will be in place from 3 April to 2 October 2018. During that time, AUSTRAC will not take certain enforcement action, if a reporting entity meets certain conditions. The conditions include taking ‘reasonable steps’ to implement the obligations during the policy principles period.
DCE providers are expected to be fully compliant with their obligations under the AML/CTF Act and AML/CTF Rules after the policy principles period expires.