High-value dealers – Prohibited cash transactions for specified high value goods

AML/CFT News and updates

19 April 2023

From 11th May 2023 any person in trade/business that buys or sells any of the following high value goods will be prohibited from doing so by a cash transaction of $10,000 or more:

  • Jewellery
  • Watches
  • Gold, silver, or other precious metals
  • Diamonds, sapphires, or other precious stones
  • Motor vehicles (within the meaning of section 6(1) of the Motor Vehicle Sales Act 2003)
  • Boats/ships (within the meaning of section 2(1) of the Maritime Transport Act 1994)

This prohibition has been introduced under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT Act). It will make it harder for criminals to use or move cash anonymously through the purchase or sale of these high value goods.

There are civil and criminal penalties if you do not comply with this prohibition.

Note: The prohibition also applies to related cash transactions if the total value is $10,000 or more. For example, if there are two or more cash payments on different days towards the same purchase, such as on layby, the total must not exceed $10,000. Bearer-negotiable instruments, such as cheques, are also subject to the prohibition (including related transactions).

Changes for high-value dealers under the AML/CFT Act

Currently, some persons in trade/businesses that buy or sell the specified high value goods are caught as “high-value dealers” under the AML/CFT Act.

As high-value dealers, these persons/businesses are required to undertake customer due diligence and report prescribed transactions when carrying out cash transactions for customers of $10,000 or more. However, with the new prohibition now preventing these transactions, these persons in trade/businesses will no longer be a high-value dealer under the AML/CFT Act and will not have to comply with these requirements.

High-value dealers in other goods

From 11th May 2023 you will still be considered a high-value dealer under the AML/CFT Act if you carry out cash transactions of $10,000 or more, in the ordinary course of business, and you are dealing in any of the following items:

  • Paintings:
  • Prints:
  • Protected foreign objects (within the meaning of section 2(1) of the Protected Objects Act 1975):
  • Protected New Zealand objects (within the meaning of section 2(1) of the Protected Objects Act 1975):
  • Sculptures:
  • Photographs:
  • Carvings in any medium:
  • Other artistic or cultural artefacts:

If so, your obligations under the AML/CFT Act will continue to apply in the same way.

It is your responsibility to ensure all your business activities comply with these new requirements.

If you are a high value dealer under the AML/CFT Act and require further information regarding the new prohibition, please contact the Department of Internal Affairs at amlcft@dia.govt.nz.


Note: This guidance has been produced by the Department of Internal Affairs for high-value dealers under s132(2)(c) of the AML/CFT Act. It does not set out the comprehensive obligations under the AML/CFT Act and associated regulations and codes of practice. This guidance does not constitute legal advice.