Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism

Overview

Money laundering is how criminals disguise the illegal origins of their money. Financers of terrorism use similar techniques to money launderers to avoid detection by authorities and to protect the identity of those providing and receiving the funds.

The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT Act) places obligations on New Zealand’s financial institutions and casinos to detect and deter money laundering and terrorism financing.

The Act ensures that businesses take appropriate measures to guard against money laundering and terrorism financing. This enhances the reputation of individual businesses, and of New Zealand as a safe place in which to do business.

The Act came into full force on 30 June 2013.

How does it affect consumers?

If you are a customer of financial institutions and casinos you may experience more stringent identity checks than you did prior to the AML/CFT Act coming into effect. However, by verifying your identity you will be helping protect New Zealand businesses from being misused for the purposes of criminal activity.

The types of documents you could be asked to provide to verify your identity may vary for different transactions or services. They may also vary across different service providers. You may also be asked for additional information about your identity or your transactions as part of a businesses ongoing monitoring of customer activity.

Note: All personal information collected under the AML/CFT Act will be handled in accordance with The Privacy Act 1993.

Ministerial Exemptions

The AML/CFT Act provides for two types of exemptions – Regulatory exemptions and Ministerial exemptions. Regulatory exemptions are set out in the AML/CFT regulations.

The Minister of Justice may grant a Ministerial exemption from any or all provisions of the Act. Exemptions may be granted for businesses, transactions, products, services or customers and may be subject to conditions.

The Ministry of Justice invites applications for Ministerial Exemptions under the AML/CFT Act. For further information and a copy of the Ministerial Exemption Policy go to: https://www.justice.govt.nz/justice-sector-policy/key-initiatives/aml-cft/info-for-businesses/ministerial-exemptions/.

Supervisory Framework

The AML/CFT Supervisory Framework sets out the AML/CFT framework and outlines the shared objectives, functions, powers and guiding principles of the three AML/CFT supervisors and the compliance tools and techniques available to them.

Approach to Compliance and Enforcement

The Department's approach to compliance and enforcement in this area is set out in the document:

Questions

If you cannot find an answer to your question please email the Department's AML Group at amlcft@dia.govt.nz