Ministry of Economy Extends deadline for AML Registration

UAE’s Ministry of Economy has extended the deadline for registration of AML for companies under the section of “specific non-financial business and professions” till the end of April. The extension was announced as a large number of companies in the sectors has lined up for registration and taking into account of the COVID-19 situations.

The ministry has stated that the targeted companies, which include brokers and real estate agents, auditors, dealers of precious metals and gemstones as well as corporate service providers, must undergo the registration for AML and CFT, before April 30th. The registration can be done for free and is made mandatory to all the companies before the new deadline. It can be done on the goAML system and automatic reporting system for sanctions of lists as stated by the Federal Law No. 20 of 2018.

Any registration made after April 30th will incur heavy penalties beginning from AED 50,000 up till AED 5 million and the failure to register will lead to suspension of licenses or the company’s closure.

Abdullah Sultan Al Fan Al Shamsi, Assistant Under-secretary for the supervision and follow-up sector at the Ministry of Economy, stated, “As the responses in the business increased, the Ministry decided to extend the registration till the end of this month offering more time for the companies to complete their registration and for taking necessary legal actions to comply with the requirements of law and for implementing regulations.”

“The goal is not to impose violations, but to ensure compliance, and the decision comes with the aim of taking into account the conditions that various companies and business sectors are going through as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and its repercussions on a global scale, stressing that the Ministry of Economy is keen to build a solid and positive relationship with the private sector based on the principle of partnership”, he added.

Al Shamsi emphasized that the non-financial businesses have a great role in supporting the government to deal with money laundering and for creating a safe and stable economic environment.

He also stated that a majority of companies in the sector have undergone registration and the extension of deadline will avail a chance for companies that missed the opportunity to register. The registration can help companies to protect their business and investments from any risk of money laundering by complying with the government regulations.

Safia Al Safi, director of the Anti-Money Laundering Department at the Ministry of Economy, said, “Extending the grace period without applying any violations before April 30 allows companies fulfill their obligations and initiate registration”.

The ministry had received more than 6000 calls and enquiries in the past month which enabled them to announce the extension of deadline for registration. By registering in the systems, the companies can have a smooth and secure business. Money laundering and terrorism funding are on the high and has alarmed the government to come up with strict regulations to avoid such activities within the country.