High risk jurisdictions list update

24 October 2019

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) updated its list of ‘high risk and other monitored jurisdictions’ on 18 October 2019. New Zealand is part of FATF, an international body established in 1989 with the objective of setting standards and promoting effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating ML/TF and other related threats.

The additional countries on the FATF list are Iceland, Mongolia and Zimbabwe. These countries are identified as having strategic AML/CFT deficiencies and have developed an action plan with FATF to resolve them. Ethiopia, Sri Lanka and Tunisia have come off the list so are no longer subject to FATF’s ongoing monitoring process.

This is a timely reminder that reporting entities are required to conduct an enhanced level of customer due diligence on all non-resident customers from countries that have insufficient AML/CFT systems or measures in place. There are additional requirements to monitor and examine business relationship and transactions involving these countries, and where necessary, have additional measures or restrictions on dealing with them.

Please also remember that the level of ML/TF risk associated with a country is much wider than whether it has insufficient AML/CFT measures in place. For example, this includes whether it has high levels of organised crime, bribery or corruption, or borders a conflict zone, or is associated with the production or transnational shipment of illicit drugs. Further information relating to the requirements of the AML/CFT Act in relation to country risk is in the AML/CFT supervisors’ Countries Assessment Guideline (PDF, 138KB).

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