Law n° 1.549 of July 6th, 2023, amending provisions of the laws on the fight against money laundering, terrorism financing and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, was published on July 14th, 2023 in the Journal de Monaco ( “Law”).
As presented by the Parliament, the Law represents “… the first act into a new sequence of legislative amendments aiming to reaffirm Monaco’s commitment to comply with international laws and to reinforce the efficiency of these measures in the fields of fighting against money laundering, terrorism financing and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction”.
It creates the “Autorité Monégasque de Sécurité Financière” (the “AMSF”), replacing the “Service d’Information et de Contrôle sur les Circuits Financiers” while raising the obligations of the persons subject to due diligence obligations and specifying the corresponding sanctions.
- In regards to the creation of the “Autorité Monégasque de Sécurité Financière” or “AMSF”:
The AMSF is divided into three functions: financial intelligence, supervision, as well as sanctions. AMSF’s different functions can communicate information to one another.
It is also in charge of implementing guidelines destined for professionals, aiming to bring further clarity to the performance of their compliance obligations.
It is further meant to establish questionnaires for professionals which are required to answer within a given timeframe, to establish their risk profile.
The supervision function of the AMSF controls on an ongoing basis the honourability conditions of the professionals at stake, not only at the beginning of their activity.
To date, the sanctions were suggested by a Commission and imposed by the Minister of State. Currently, aiming for broader independence, the sanctions function of the AMSF is empowered to directly punish wrongful behaviours. The Minister of State remains sole competent for sanctions regarding any authorization given by him.
The department in charge of AMSF’s supervision function shares any outlined wrongdoing with AMSF’s sanctions function. It puts the given entity on formal notice with a registered letter with return receipt to regularize the situation. Such outlines the failures to comply, the legal obligations breached, as well as the sanctions at stake. It sets a timeframe for said regularization, ranging from a minimum of eight days to a maximum of one month.
Once the deadline expired the sanctions function becomes competent. The administrative financial sanction may reach 5,000 €. It is doubled in case of reoffending.
AMSF’s intelligence function may share any information with the judiciary authority, as soon as a suspicious transaction report unveils acts of money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, or bribery, pursuant to Guidelines n°29 of the F.A.T.F.
The disclosure of suspicious transaction reports held by the AMSF to the judiciary authority is subject to the emergence through criminal investigations of serious and corroborating evidence of acts of money laundering, terrorism financing, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, or bribery.
Their anonymization is performed by the AMSF, the Attorney General, or the investigating judge, to protect the declaring person’s identity, unless such disclosure is a necessity to seek its liability.
- In regards to the raising of the obligations for the professionals:
Concretely, regarding the professionals, their obligations are specified, be it for the elements to take into account while establishing a risk mapping concerning a given financial transaction, or for the elements to take into consideration for their identification. Likewise, the duty to document is extended.
The specifics of the suspicious transaction report will be determined by an upcoming Sovereign Order.
- In regards to the compliance control terms:
The “Ultimate Beneficial Owner – companies and intercompany partnership register” and “trust register” are retained, the Ultimate Beneficial Owner definition is now fully compliant with the F.A.T.F.’s.
Access to these registers may be extended to investigations relative to other offenses than those set in the Law, as long as the conditions regarding the persons entitled to said access are met. In other words, access by an authority without proper authorization could be invalidated.
However, access to these registers in the framework of an international cooperation with comparable entities to the “Direction de la Sûreté Publique” may now only be done for investigations on offenses pursuant to the Law. The sharing of intelligence between the Principality of Monaco and a foreign State is therefore limited to the provisions of international treaties binding them.
The internal control protocols of the professionals now have to be communicated to the competent authorities as soon as they are enacted or updated, with an obligation on the authority to acknowledge receipt and put a sample to the test.
Regulatory dispositions are awaited to further implement the terms of the Law, as well as its effective date, fixed for the latest on September 30th, 2023.
Our team remains at your disposal to assist you and answer your questions on the matter.
 They will be defined by Sovereign Order
 Articles 22-5 and 64-2 of the Law, regarding the “Ultimate Beneficial Owner – companies and intercompany partnership register”, and the “bank account and vaults register” respectively