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The Ministry of Economy (MoE) in Abu Dhabi has announced the deadline extension for the registration of anti-money laundering and combating terrorism financing regulations for Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs). The deadline has been extended to the 31st of April 2021.
This extension of the deadline has been granted as most of the companies were coming to register in the last few days of the previous deadline which was supposed to end on 31st March 2021. Moreover, the deadline for registration was extended due to the unusual circumstances that the business sector is facing in wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
MoE also discussed that it is compulsory for the targeted firms including the real-estate agents, auditors, lawyers, brokers, dealers of metals, dealers of gemstones, and service providers to register with the Anti-Money Laundering regulation for the Automatic Reporting System for Sanctions Lists before the extended deadline is reached.
H.E. Abdullah Sultan Al Fan Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for the Monitoring and Following-up Sector at the Ministry of Economy, explained that “Due to increased levels of response from the DNFBPs identified for compulsory registration, the Ministry of Economy, in coordination with its partners from the relevant government entities, decided to extend the grace period granted to the target companies and give them more time until the end of the current month to complete the registration process. Once the registration process is complete, they should start taking the necessary legal measures to ensure full compliance with the requirements of the law and its implementing regulations.”
The registration to meet the regulatory compliance is free of cost and these sectors are required to ensure compliance measures even after they have been registered with the system. The specific compliance measures should be in line with Federal Law No. 20 regarding Anti-Money Laundering, Combating Terrorism Financing and Illegal Organizations.
Uae’s Ministry of Economy has called on the companies to utilise the extended period and register themselves to prevent any penalties and fines. The penalties will start to be imposed from May 1st 2021. The fines will start at AED 50,000 and go up to AED 5 million. The companies who fail to register can even face the cancellation of the license or permanent closure of the facility itself.
H.E also added, “The goal is not to impose violations but to ensure compliance, and the decision was taken considering 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.”