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Orlando, FL, United States – 21 June 2019. Financial innovation has drastically changed the financial landscape. New technologies, services and products offer efficient alternatives to classic financial products and can improve financial inclusion. At the same time, the speed and anonymity of some of these innovative products can attract criminals and terrorist who wish to use them to launder the proceeds of their crimes and finance their illicit activities.

This guidance will help countries and virtual asset service providers understand their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing obligations, and effectively implement the FATF’s requirements as they apply to this sector.

This guidance follows revisions to the FATF Recommendations in October 2018 and June 2019 in response to the increasing use of virtual assets for money laundering and terrorist financing. The FATF strengthened its standards to clarify the application of anti-money laundering and counter- terrorist financing requirements on virtual assets and virtual asset service providers. Countries are now required to assess and mitigate their risks associated with virtual asset financial activities and providers; license or register providers and subject them to supervision or monitoring by competent national authorities. Virtual asset service providers are subject to the same relevant FATF measures that apply to financial institutions.

The guidance addresses the following:

- How do virtual assets activities and virtual asset service providers fall within the scope of the FATF Recommendations? (Section II)
- How should countries and competent authorities apply the FATF Recommendations in the context of virtual assets or virtual asset service providers? (Section III)
- How do the FATF Recommendations apply to virtual asset service providers, and other entities (including banks, securities broker-dealers) that engage in or provide virtual asset covered activities?

The guidance, which benefited from dialogue with the private sector, also includes examples of national approaches to regulating and supervising virtual asset activities and virtual asset service providers to prevent their misuse for money laundering and terrorist financing.

Source: Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

FATF public statement of February 22, 2019...

Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). The FATF reaffirms its 25 February 2011 call on its members and urges all jurisdictions to advise their financial institutions to give special attention to business relationships and transactions with the DPRK, including DPRK companies, financial institutions, and those acting on their behalf. In addition to enhanced scrutiny, the FATF further calls on its members and urges all jurisdictions to apply effective counter-measures, and targeted financial sanctions in accordance with applicable United Nations Security Council Resolutions, to protect their financial sectors from money laundering, financing of terrorism and WMD proliferation financing (ML/FT/PF) risks emanating from the DPRK. Jurisdictions should take necessary measures to close existing branches, subsidiaries and representative offices of DPRK banks within their territories and terminate correspondent relationships with DPRK banks, where required by relevant UNSC resolutions.

Iran. Country will remain on the FATF Public Statement until the full Action Plan has been completed. Until Iran implements the measures required to address the deficiencies identified with respect to countering terrorism-financing in the Action Plan, the FATF will remain concerned with the terrorist financing risk emanating from Iran and the threat this poses to the international financial system. The FATF, therefore, calls on its members and urges all jurisdictions to continue to advise their financial institutions to apply enhanced due diligence with respect to business relationships and transactions with natural and legal persons from Iran, consistent with FATF Recommendation 19, including: (1) obtaining information on the reasons for intended transactions; and (2) conducting enhanced monitoring of business relationships, by increasing the number and timing of controls applied, and selecting patterns of transactions that need further examination.

Sanctions against Iran prohibit the export to Iran of nuclear, missile and a significant part of military products, foreign direct investment in Iran’s oil and gas and petrochemical industries, export of refined petroleum products, as well as any contacts with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), banks and insurance companies, financial transactions and cooperation with the Iranian navy.

Source: FATF-GAFI.ORG - Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

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