UAE regulator revises sanctions, AML policy to enact FATF’s Travel Rule

6 months ago

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), a financial watchdog in the United Arab Emirates, has updated its Anti-Money Laundering and sanctions rules with new elements related to digital assets.

The FSRA on Dec. 21 officially announced revisions to its Anti-Money Laundering and Sanctions Rules and Guidance, or the AML Rulebook, adding some changes to the provisions related to digital assets within the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) Travel Rule.

According to Cryptos Consultancy CEO Ali Jamal, the key updates in the revised document include refining provisions related to wire transfers to explicitly enforce the FATF’s Travel Rule on digital assets, significantly impacting firms under the AML Rulebook’s purview.

This revision holds relevance for authorized firms in the financial sector and designated non-financial businesses and professions.

“These changes serve to enhance clarity and alignment with the UAE’s robust federal regulatory framework combating money laundering, terrorism financing, and proliferation financing, ensuring strict compliance with targeted financial sanctions,” Jamal stated.

According to a log of detailed amendments, the new revisions include provisions that explicitly define digital assets as one of the existing payment methods.

“The payment for any part or all of the sale/purchase amount includes payment(s) using Virtual Assets,” the document states.

According to a December 2023 report by the professional network PwC, the UAE is one of the most progressive countries in adopting crypto regulations. According to PwC’s analysis, the UAE’s government has already adopted a crypto regulatory framework, AML regulations and the Travel Rule, and is in the final stage of developing stablecoin laws.

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