Update to expiring regulations timeframe and impact on independent audit obligations 

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3 December 2020

In June we published an update on the work underway by the Ministry of Justice on the AML/CFT (Exemptions) Regulations 2011 and the AML/CFT (Definitions) Regulations) 2011. This article is now revised with an update on in force dates: Expiring regulations: Update December 2020

The Ministry of Justice has advised that the timeframes for amending these regulations has changed and the Ministry now aims to have new regulations in force by July 2021. 

Until new regulations come into force, reporting entities must comply with the requirements of the current regulations. 

We appreciate that this change to timeframes will impact reporting entities with an independent audit due in early 2021. We know that some of these entities expected the default independent audit timeframe to be extended to three years before their current audit deadline and have made plans accordingly. 

If you are a reporting entity whose independent audit is due between January and July 2021, we confirm that no adverse compliance action will be taken if you do not complete your audit by your current deadline. This includes real estate agents whose first audit is due by January 2021. This is conditional on you acting in good faith. We may take compliance action if you do not complete your independent audit by the three-year deadline once the new regulations come into force (1 January 2022 for real estate agents).  

We encourage all entities to engage early with an independent and appropriately qualified auditor to ensure that your audit can be completed in time to meet your independent audit obligations. Please refer to the AML/CFT supervisors’ Audit Guideline for further information about your obligations. 

If you have any additional questions about the planned changes, the process or timing for changing the regulations, please contact the Ministry of Justice on aml@justice.govt.nz.