How DNFBPs Can Ensure AML Compliance in the UAE?

The deadline is looming for the Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) to register in the Financial Intelligence Unit system (goAML) to ensure compliance with Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML-CFT). The companies that fall within the DNFBP category are regulated by the Ministry of Economy and must register before March 31 on the goAML system. Companies that fail to register to comply with AML-CFT regulations will incur penalties in the range of AED 50,000 to AED 1 Million.

The DNFBPs include a wide range of non-financial sectors and activities that are more exposed to the risk of money-laundering. The DNFBPs are broadly divided into four categories as per the standards issued by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), as well as implementing regulations of the Federal Decree-Law No. 20 of 2018 on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism and financing illegal organisations. The full list of the DNFBPs that are required to register for the goAML systems and how they can ensure compliance is being discussed here. Read ahead

Who Must Register in the goAML system

Article (3) of the executive regulations of the AML law specifies the types of business activities and specific non-financial professions that are subject to their supervision as follows:

  1. Brokers and real estate agents when entering into operations in the interest of their clients in relation to the purchase and sale of real estate
  2. Dealers of precious metals and gemstones when they perform any single cash transaction or several seemingly related transactions, with a value of AED 55,000 or more.
  3. Independent auditors and accountants when they prepare, conduct, or implement financial operations for the benefit of their clients, related to the following activities:
  • Buying and selling real estates
  • Managing money that the customer owns
  • Managing the financial accounts, saving accounts or stock accounts
  • Contributing to establishing, operating or managing companies
  • Establishing, operating or managing companies, or legal arrangements
  • Buying and selling commercial entities
  1. Corporate service providers and trust funds When they undertake or execute an operation for the benefit of their clients or on their behalf in relation to the following activities
  • Work as an agent in establishing companies
  • Working or preparing someone else to work as a director or company secretary or as a partner in the company
  • Providing a registered office, business address, place of residence, address for correspondence, administrative address of a legal person, or legal arrangement
  • Doing or preparing another person to act as trustee for a direct trust fund or to perform a similar function for another form of legal arrangement
  • Working or preparing another person to act as a shareholder for another person

What Must the DNFBPs do to Ensure AML Compliance?

As per the Executive Regulations of the AML Law, the businesses that meet the definition of DNFBPs are required to implement three major actions to counter the risks of money laundering in the UAE. They are

1) Appointment of a compliance officer

The DNFBPs must appoint a compliance officer in the organisation who holds the responsibility of registering and following up on the two systems. Consult with the best AML consultants in Dubai to receive robust advice on ensuring AML compliance.

 2) Exercising Due Diligence

The DNFBPs must exercise due diligence on clients by verifying the identity of the customer and the beneficial owner before establishing a business relationship or opening an account and other details described in the executive regulations of the AML Law such as

  • doubts about the truthfulness of a previously obtained client’s identification data,
  • suspicion of a crime
  • Carrying out occasional transactions in favour of a Customer for amounts equal to or exceeding AED 55,000
  • Carrying out occasional transactions in the form of Wire Transfers for amounts equal to or exceeding AED 3,500

3) Registration  in the ‘goAML’ system

The businesses should file suspicious transaction reports through goAML apart from registering in the Automatic Reporting System For Sanctions Lists. Businesses can register in the system with the assistance of registered AML consultants in Dubai.

How Can Accredited AML Consultants in Dubai Help Businesses?

The Ministry of Economy has extended the deadline for DNFBPs to register in goAML system, which necessitates such businesses to expedite their AML compliance efforts. The failure to register to post the deadline may result in hefty fines, which may lead to trade license cancellation and closure of the facilities. The DNFBPs, therefore, are advised to enlist the assistance of registered AML consultants in Dubai, such as Jitendra Chartered Accountants (JCA).

JCA has a highly qualified team that help banks, DNFBPs and other financial institutions to implement a robust AML system within their organisation. JCA can provide services such as developing a compliance policy and procedures, reviewing current AML policy, implementing AML/ KYC/ CFT Plan and framework, AML audit and reporting, help with due diligence frameworks and process implementation imparting AML training to the employees.

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