We Hire and Train an AML Officer For Your Crypto Business in Estonia
If you have been operating in the virtual assets sector in Estonia for a while now, you probably are aware of just how important it is to have a well-trained Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Officer in your crypto business. He keeps your AML compliance in check and manages communications with the local authorities if and when needed.
Now that the latest version of the Estonian Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act (MLTFPA) entered into force, the need for a quality AML Compliance Officer is even more evident. By the new legislation, a virtual asset service provider’s (VASP’s) AML Officer may not hold the same position or be a head of a structural unit at another crypto business while only being allowed to be an AML Officer at a VASP where he/she is a member of the board.
Keeping this in mind, crypto businesses with active virtual currency licenses must adapt to this change by the 15th or March and new aspiring VASPs must be in compliance upon applying for a license. This is something that many VASPs must solve to continue providing virtual asset services in Estonia – RCA is here to help!
General Requirements For an AML Officer in Estonia
The only change to the requirements for an AML Officer is the one mentioned above, the rest remains the same.
An AML Officer at a crypto business in Estonia must:
- reside in Estonia;
- have impeccable reputation – may not have a valid conviction for an offense against the state, for money laundering or for another intentional crime;
- be fit for the position – higher education (preferably in economics or law) and/or prior experience working with Anti-Money Laundering;
- have sufficient knowledge about Anti-Money Laundering and AML in Estonia – certificates or diplomas confirming training in the field, knowing important terms and models, aware of the money laundering risks in Estonia and how to submit notifications to the FIU;
- have suitable personal characteristics and abilities;
- have sufficient knowledge of the VASP, its risk assessment and clients’ profile;
- not be an AML Officer of another VASP and a board member at no more than two VASP;
- be a member of the board at the VASP in question.
Duties of an AML Compliance Officer at a Crypto Business in Estonia
The duties of the AML Compliance Officer are also clearly defined in the law and are good examples of what one should know how to do at the VASP:
- manage the collection of data and the analysis of transactions that appoint to unusual or suspicious activities in relation to money laundering;
- forwarding a notification to the FIU when there is a suspicion of money laundering or terrorist financing;
- periodically composing written overviews to the management board or to the head of the branch about meeting the compliance requirements in relation to the MLTFPA;
- fulfilling other duties which are related to compliance per the MLTFPA.
Training an AML Officer to Fit Your Business
According to the General Part of the Economic Activities Code Act, an economic administration authority has the right to request additional information from a business if it is necessary for verifying compliance with the requirements for economic activities related to the specific activity license.
Therefore, it has become a common practice for the Estonian Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to summon a member of the board and/or the AML Officer to check compliance with the requirements brought out in §72 section 2 of the MLTFPA and to get more information about the persons and the business in general.
During the meeting, the FIU may ask a variety of questions about the person, the company and the position itself. We can help to prepare you or your AML Compliance Officer for this meeting so that the outcome will be positive, and your business can continue its operations smoothly.