The Dutch Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act (AML or in Dutch: Wwft) took effect on 15 July 2008. The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act aims to prevent or as the case may be combat money laundering and terrorism financingin order to safeguard the integrity of the financial markets. The Fourth European anti-money laundering directive (Directive EU 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council) was adopted and implemented into the Wwft on 20 May 2015. A civil-law notary plays an important part in ensuring proper compliance with this act.

Money laundering means that illegally gained assets are made legal, so their illegal origin will no longer be visible. Tax fraud is also qualified as money laundering.

Terrorism financing means that assets are used to enable terrorist activities.

Specific guideline

The Ministry of Finance and the AML (Wwft) supervisors draw up general and specific guidelines that help institutions apply the Wwft in practice. The Fourth European anti-money laundering directive has resulted in important changes in the specific guideline. The most important requirements of the Wwft are the performance of a customer due diligence (which entails more than just identifying the customer) and the obligation to report. A civil-law notary is also expected to have a documented process description with regard to risk assessments. These risk assessments have to be reported and need to be up to date.

Customer due diligence

As a civil-law notary, you therefore play an important part in ensuring compliance with the Wwft. Under these laws and regulations you have to make your own assessment of money laundering and terrorism financing risks, among other things. In order to be able to make this assessment, a customer due diligence is performed. An important part of the customer due diligence is establishing the identity of the ultimate beneficiary and verifying their identity. In principle, a UBO (Ultimate Beneficial Owner) must always be established. In addition, based on a risk assessment prior to entering into a business relationship or an incidental transaction, institutions have to establish whether a more thorough customer due diligence is necessary.

Risk assessment

You have to provide the supervisory authorities (the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets AFM, the central bank DNB) with this risk assessment upon request. The risks and the measures taken by the institution itself (i.e. the civil-law notary) to manage the risks (risk management) have to be mapped. This means that you must have an administration or a system in place in which these risk assessments can be carried out and are traceable and reproducible in accordance with the directives issued by the supervisory authorities.

Unusual transactions

The Wwft also obliges civil-law notaries to report unusual transactions, which may be related to money laundering or terrorism financing, to the office for the disclosure ofunusual transactions, i.e. the Financial Intelligence Unit-Netherlands. If you want to carry out a transaction yourself, you are also obliged to check whether this transaction is permitted under the Sanctions Act.

Moreover, pursuant to their own professional rules, civil-law notaries are not allowed to accept cash amounts of 15,000 euro or more. The supervisor appointed for the notarial profession for ensuring compliance with the Wwft is the Financial Supervision Office (“Bureau Financieel Toezicht”).

Solution for civil-law notaries

For proper compliance with these laws and regulations it is therefore important that you have an administration or a system in place in which these risk assessments can be carried out and are traceable and reproducible in accordance with the directives issued by the supervisory authorities. SCOPE FinTech Solutions offers you the option of integrating a CDD portal within your existing record-keeping system. This enables you to perform easy and efficient checks and screenings for: PEP lists, sanctions lists, disqualified director, adverse media, financial embezzlement, and law enforcement. This way you will always have reproducible reports of your customers available in the event of an audit carried out by the supervisor.

SCOPE FinTech Solutions also offers the service “SCOPE CDD as a service”. This service was especially developed for organisations that have to comply with the Wwft and Sanctions Act but do not have the (IT) capacity and/or resources available to purchase and implement a CDD solution. “SCOPE CDD as a service” provides organisations with the option to outsource the CDD verification process to SCOPE FinTech Solutions. Persons and/or (business) relations (or lists of these) supplied are screened, checked and, if necessary, marked for periodical review. The result of the checks carried out will be delivered in a comprehensive report per (business) relation, including all data required for compliance (audit) and the customer file.