• AML 15. AML 15. DNFBP Registration And Supervision

    Chapter 15 in this version of AML is new material with Chapter 15 (General Obligations) from the previous version being incorporated into Chapter 4 in this version of AML.

    • Guidance

      1. FSMR gives the Regulator a power to supervise DNFBPs' compliance with relevant Anti-Money Laundering laws in the State. FSMR also gives the Regulator a number of other powers in relation to DNFBPs, including powers of enforcement. This includes a power to obtain information and to conduct investigations into possible breaches of the FSMR. The Regulator may also impose fines for breaches of FSMR or the Rules. It may also suspend or withdraw the registration of a DNFBP in various circumstances.
      2. The Regulator takes a risk-based approach to regulation of persons which it supervises. Generally, the Regulator will work with DNFBPs to identify, assess, mitigate and control relevant risks where appropriate. The Guidance & Policies Manual ("GPM") describes the Regulator's enforcement powers under FSMR and outlines its policy for using these powers.
      3. Rule 15.1.1 requires a DNFBP to be registered by the Regulator to conduct its activities in the ADGM. Rule 15.2.1 sets out the criteria a DNFBP must meet to be registered.
      4. A DNFBPs is defined in Rule 3.2.1 and includes the following class of persons whose business is carried out in the ADGM:
      a. a real estate agency which carries out transactions with other Persons that involve the acquiring or disposing of real property;
      b. a dealer in precious metals or precious stones;
      c. a dealer in any saleable item of a price equal to or greater than USD15,000;
      d. an accounting firm, audit firm, insolvency firm or taxation consulting firm;
      e. a law firm, notary firm or other independent legal business; or
      f. a Company Service Provider.
      5. In determining if a Person is a DNFPB the Regulator will adopt a 'substance over form' approach. That is, it will consider what business or profession is in fact being carried on, and its main characteristics, and not just what business or profession the person purports, or is licensed, to carry on in the ADGM.
      6. The Regulator considers that a "law firm, notary firm or other independent legal business, includes any business or profession that involves a legal service, including advice or services related to laws in the U.A.E. The Regulator does not consider it necessary for the purposes of the definition that the:
      a. Person is licensed to provide legal services in the U.A.E; or
      b. the individuals or employees providing the legal service are qualified or authorised to do so.
      7. The Regulator considers that that "accounting firm, audit firm, insolvency firm or taxation consulting firm", includes forensic accounting services that use accounting skills, principles and techniques to investigate suspected illegal activity or to analyse financial information for use in legal proceedings.
      Added on (15 April, 2019).

    • AML 15.1 AML 15.1 DNFBP Prohibition

      • AML 15.1.1

        A person who is a DNFBP must not carry on any activities in or from the ADGM unless that person is registered under AML 15.4 by the Regulator as a DNFBP.


      • AML 15.1.2

        The Regulator may delegate its powers for the registration, suspension and cancellation of the a DNFBP's registration of a DNFBP to the Registrar of Companies.


    • AML 15.2 AML 15.2 Criteria for Registration as a DNFBP

      • AML 15.2.1

        (1) To be registered as a DNFBP, an applicant must demonstrate to the Regulator's satisfaction that:
        (a) it is fit and proper to perform anti-money laundering functions; and
        (b) it has adequate resources, systems and controls, including policies and procedures, to comply with all applicable anti-money laundering requirements under Federal AML legislation, FSMR and these Rules;
        (2) In assessing if an applicant is fit and proper under (1)(a), the Regulator may, without limiting the matters it may take into account under that paragraph, consider the applicant, its senior management, its Beneficial Owners, other entities in its Group and any other Person with whom it has a relationship.
        (3) The Regulator will in assessing if an applicant is fit and proper, consider the cumulative effect of matters that, if considered individually, may be regarded as insufficient to give reasonable cause to doubt the fitness and propriety of the applicant.


    • AML 15.3 AML 15.3 Application for Registration as a DNFBP

      • AML 15.3.1

        A person may apply to the Regulator to be registered as a DNFBP by completing and submitting the appropriate form.


      • AML 15.3.2

        The Regulator may require an applicant to provide additional information or documents reasonably required by the Regulator for it to be able to consider an application for registration including, but not limited to, information or documents relating to the activities, ownership, group structure, financial and other resources of the applicant.


      • AML 15.3.3

        Where, at any time between filing an application and the grant or refusal of registration as a DNFBP, an applicant becomes aware of a material change in its circumstances that is reasonably likely to be relevant to its application it shall inform the Regulator in writing of the change without delay.


      • AML 15.3.4

        Any person who is a DNFBP upon the making of this Chapter and was previously a Relevant Person prior to the making of this Chapter:

        (a) is deemed to be registered as a DNFBP at the time of the making of this Chapter; and
        (b) must apply for registration under Rule 15.3:
        (i) within 12 months of the making of this Chapter; or
        (ii) at the date of the renewal of its Commercial Licence under the Commercial Licensing Regulations 2015;

        whichever comes first.


    • AML 15.4 AML 15.4 Grant of an Application

      • AML 15.4.1

        The Regulator may grant an application for DNFBP registration as a DNFBP if it is wholly satisfied that the applicant meets the criteria for registration under Rule 15.3.1.


      • AML 15.4.2

        Where the Regulator decides to register a DNFBP, it shall as soon as is practicable inform the applicant in writing of that decision and of the date on which registration is to take effect.


    • AML 15.5 AML 15.5 Refusal of an Application

      • AML 15.5.1

        The Regulator may refuse to grant an application for DNFBP registration where it is not wholly satisfied that the applicant meets the criteria for registration under Rule 15.3.1.


    • AML 15.6 AML 15.6 DNFBP Notifications

      • AML 15.6.1

        A DNFBP must promptly notify the Regulator of any change in its:

        (a) name;
        (b) legal status;
        (c) address;
        (d) MLRO;
        (e) senior management; or
        (f) Beneficial ownership.


      • AML 15.6.2

        (1) A DNFBP must notify the Regulator in writing at least fourteen days in advance of it ceasing to carry on the business activities that establishes it as a DNFBP.
        (2) The notice must include a request to cancel its registration, an explanation of the reason for the DNFBP ceasing business, the planned date of the cessation of its activities, and copies of any relevant documents must be submitted with the notice.


    • AML 15.7 AML 15.7 Suspension and withdrawal of DNFBP Registration

      • AML 15.7.1

        (1) The Regulator may suspend the registration of a DNFBP at the request of the DNFBP or on its own initiative.
        (2) The Regulator may withdraw the registration of a DNFBP:
        (a) at the request of the DNFBP;
        (b) if the Registrar of Companies notifies it that the DNFBP no longer holds the relevant commercial licence to operate in the ADGM; or
        (c) on its own initiative.


      • AML 15.7.2

        (1) The Regulator may exercise its power on its own initiative under Rule 15.7.1 (1) or (2)(c) where:

        (a) the DNFBP no longer meets the criteria for DNFBP registration;
        (b) the DNFBP is in breach of, or has been in breach of, the Law or Rules or other Anti-Money Laundering Legislation;
        (c) the DNFBP is insolvent or entering into administration;
        (d) the DNFBP is no longer carrying on business in the ADGM; or
        (e) the Regulator considers that exercising the power is necessary or desirable in the pursuit of its objectives in section 1.(3).


    • AML 15.8 AML 15.8 Disclosure of regulatory status

      • AML 15.8.1

        A DNFBP must not:

        (a) misrepresent its regulatory status with respect to the Regulator expressly or by implication; or
        (b) use or reproduce the logo of the Regulator without express written permission from the Regulator and in accordance with any conditions for use imposed by the Regulator.


    • AML 15.9 AML 15.9 Co-ordination between the Regulator and the Registrar of Companies

      • AML 15.9.1

        (1) The Registrar of Companies shall not grant a person who is a DNFBP a commercial licence to operate in the ADGM until the Regulator has confirmed to the Registrar of Companies that it intends to register the person as a DNFBP.
        (2) The Regulator shall as soon as is practicable notify the Registrar of Companies where it suspends or withdraws the registration of a DNFBP.
        (3) The Registrar of Companies shall as soon as is practicable suspend or withdraw (as the case may be) the commercial licence of the DNFBP where it receives a notification under (2).