Supervision of DNFBPs & collection of Ultimate Beneficial Owner data two main areas of focus
ABU DHABI, UAE, September 16, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ — The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Economy announced that it is moving ahead with its efforts to enhance the UAE’s business community’s compliance with the Federal Decree-Law No. 20 of 2018, which was established to fight money laundering, financing of terrorism, and the financing of illegal organizations, its executive regulations, and related decisions following international standards. This endeavor is in line with the country’s commitment to achieve full compliance to the International Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The Ministry’s efforts are directed towards meeting compliance in two main areas, which include the regulation and supervision of the Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) to ensure they meet the legal AML requirements. The Ministry oversees four main business activities including real estate agents and brokers, precious metals and gemstone dealers, auditors, and corporate service providers. The second aspect is the collection of the Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) data from all private sector establishments within the country, including the non-financial free zones.
Safeya Al Safi, Director of the Anti-Money Laundering Department at the UAE Ministry of Economy; said: “The UAE, under the directives of its wise leadership, is one of the first countries to build an integrated system to counter money laundering and combat the financing of terrorism. These efforts strengthen the UAE’s role as a leading player in the global economic landscape, and consolidates its position as a competitive economic hub that follows the highest standards of integrity and transparency in the field of financial and commercial control and confronting unsound practices in business activities.”
The UAE Ministry of Economy is working with 17 Registrars of Companies across the country and has formed a national team comprising 97 inspectors to ensure the highest levels of oversight and compliance in the business sector and the DNFBPs. The value of the fines for non-compliance with the AML regulations ranges between AED 50,000 and AED 1 million, and it can be doubled to AED 5 million.
All legal requirements and information related to the measures are available on the official website of the Ministry of Economy as well as on the executive regulations of the law through https://www.economy.gov.ae/arabic/AML/Pages/legislation-rules-regulations.aspx
Submission of UBO data
The procedures for submitting the UBO data required of the establishments are simple, but the most important of which is the creation of a record of the UBO, partners or shareholders and keep it with the establishment. These records and data must be submitted to the Registrars of Companies in their official websites. In the event of any change or modification to the UBO’s data, such updated data must be notified and submitted to the Registrar of Companies within 15 days of such change or modification.
The Ministry of Economy and the Registrars of Companies have begun implementing the second level of administrative penalties since July 8, 2021. This includes the imposition of financial fines of AED 15,000 per violation.
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