Switzerland to adopt Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance

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The Swiss Federal Council has adopted the Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance (AMLO) and it will enter into force on 1 January 2016.
The Federal Council of Switzerland, which constitutes the federal government and serves as the collective head of the government and state of Switzerland, last Wednesday announced the proposal to adopt the AMLO, in efforts to comply with international standards and actions aiming to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, as a result of diachronic efforts made by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The Swiss parliament has adapted a significant number of laws related to FATF’s standards. The authorised amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) and the Swiss Civil Code (CC) necessitate additional remarks and adjustments at an ordinance level.

The new due diligence obligations and reporting duties for traders set out in the AMLA will be integrated in the new AMLO. Such obligations and duties will be applied when traders accept cash payments exceeding CHF 100,000 amid their trading activities.

At the same time, the existing Federal Council Ordinance on the Professional Practice of Financial Intermediation (PFIO) will be incorporated into the AMLO. Furthermore, new legal provisions on the reporting system for financial intermediaries will be implemented by amending the Ordinance on the Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerland (MROSO).

Finally, the parliament has also decided to improve the transparency in laws regarding foundations, thus ecclesiastical foundations will also be required to be included in the commercial register.

The new ordinance provisions will enter into force on January 1st 2016.