In the implementation of this business plan, the company intends and undertakes to comply with the requirements established Directive (EU) 2015/849 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing (4th AMLD) was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in June 2015.
One of the main objectives of the 4th AMLD is to align EU AML/CFT legislation with the international standards on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international anti-money laundering standard setter, adopted in 2012.
The preventive measures set out in the 4th AMLD (except for the requirement to establish beneficial ownership registers) have been implemented into Liechtenstein law. The relevant provisions can be found in the Law on Professional Due Diligence to Combat Money Laundering, Organized Crime and Terrorist Financing (Due Diligence Act; DDA) and the associated Due Diligence Ordinance (DDO).1 The revised rules came into effect on 1 September 2017.
The 4th AMLD introduces a new definition of beneficial ownership with respect to legal persons and arrangements. Pursuant to the revised definition implemented in Article 3(1) DDO, the following persons are deemed to be beneficial owners in corporate bodies, including establishments with a corporate structure or trust enterprises, and companies without legal personality:
1. natural persons, who ultimately directly or indirectly:
- hold or control a share or voting right amounting to 25% or more in such legal entities;
- have a share of 25% or more in the profits of such legal entities; or
- exercise control over the management of such legal entities in another way;
2. natural persons, who are members of the executive body if – after exhausting all alternatives and provided there are no grounds for suspicion – no such person as referred to in no. 1 can be identified;
With respect to foundations, trusteeships and establishments with a structure similar to that of a foundation or trust enterprise, the following persons must be identified as beneficial owners:
- natural persons, who are effective, non-fiduciary sponsors, founders or settlors, irrespective of whether they exercise control over the legal entity after its foundation;
- natural or legal persons who are members of the foundation board or board of directors or of the trustee;
- any natural persons who are protectors or persons in similar or equivalent functions;
- natural persons who are beneficiaries;
- if the beneficiaries have yet to be determined, the group of persons, in whose interests the legal entity is primarily established or operated.
- in addition to the above, the natural persons who ultimately control the legal entity through direct or indirect ownership rights or in any other way.
Politically exposed persons. The definition of “politically exposed person” (PEP) has been extended to encompass persons who are or have been entrusted with prominent public functions domestically and with respect to senior figures in international organizations.
It is set out more explicitly in the revised law that the information obtained with respect to the customer and the beneficial owner (including information on the origin of the deposited assets, economic back-ground of the assets, occupation and business activity of the effective contributor of the assets, and intended use of the assets) needs to be reviewed at regular, risk-based intervals. For higher-risk business relationships, this review needs to be performed at least every two years.
Suspicious transaction reporting.
It is now clearly set out in the revised DDA that the responsibility for submitting suspicious transaction reports to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) Liechtenstein lies with the member appointed at the executive level (board of directors or supervisory board). Moreover, the FIU is now empowered to suspend the execution of a current transaction that might be connected with money laundering, predicate offences to money laundering, organized crime, or terrorist financing for a maximum period of two working days, irrespective of any suspicious transaction reports submitted. During this period the FIU may analyze the transaction, examine the reasons for suspicion, and subsequently forward the results of the analysis to the prosecution authorities.
Even though this option is now only rarely used in practice, obliged firms may continue to have certain due diligence carried out by third parties, provided that they are domiciled in another EEA Member State or third country and their due diligence and record-keeping requirements and due diligence supervision are in line with the requirements of the 4th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive. Based on the assessments of relevant international agencies, the FMA must issue a list of states that meet these requirements. The FMA is currently engaged in evaluating the relevant states.