Paris, 17 February 2012 - Under the Italian Presidency, the third FATF Plenary meeting of FATF-XXIII was held in Paris on 15-17 February 2012.
The FATF published the revised FATF Recommendations on 16 February. The revisions, made with input from governments, the private sector, and civil society, provide authorities with a stronger framework to act against criminals and address new threats to the international financial system.
The FATF took important new steps to protect the international financial system from abuse by:
During the review process of the FATF Recommendations, which started in June 2009, the FATF consulted broadly through: two open public consultations on the proposed changes; meetings of the FATF private sector consultative forums, including civil society; and outreach to relevant experts outside the FATF on specific technical issues. The consultation process generated a large number of responses and a broad range of opinions. The FATF has prepared a response to the key issues raised during the consultation process.
The FATF has approved and published the follow-up report for China. The first mutual evaluation report of China was adopted in June 2007 when China became a full member of the FATF.
China was placed on an enhanced follow-up process as a result of partially compliant and non-compliant ratings in certain of the Core and Key Recommendations in its mutual evaluation report. China reported back at each FATF Plenary on the progress it had made in addressing the deficiencies identified in the mutual evaluation report. China made significant progress and in October 2008, the Plenary agreed to place China on the regular follow-up process, whereby it would provide the FATF Plenary with annual progress reports.
China has now taken additional action to address the deficiencies in its AML/CFT regime and has therefore been taken off the regular follow-up process. Henceforth, China will report back to the Plenary on any further improvements to its AML/CFT regime on a biennial basis.
The FATF has adopted its first Best Practices Paper for the revised FATF Recommendations. This Best Practices Paper focuses specifically on information sharing and exchange related to the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The paper provides guidance on the implementation of Recommendation 2 ("National cooperation and coordination") and assists jurisdictions in engaging appropriate authorities in order to best exploit financial information and apply financial measures to combat proliferation.
The FATF welcomed the Groupe d'Action Contre le Blanchiment d'Argent en Afrique Centrale (GABAC) as a new FATF observer organisation. GABAC is a body of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa and is made up of the six members of this community: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. It was established in 2000 with the mandate to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, assess the compliance of its members against the FATF Standards, provide technical assistance to its member States and facilitate international co-operation.
The co-operation between the FATF and GABAC will help to extend the FATF global network on money laundering and terrorist financing into this region of the world.
The FATF heard Argentina’s report on the progress it has made since its third follow-up report presented in October 2011. The FATF welcomes Argentina’s enactment of a new law significantly improving Argentina’s criminalisation of terrorist financing and congratulates Argentina for its efforts. The FATF also welcomed Argentina’s initial action plan on measures and milestones to assess Argentina’s effective implementation of its money laundering offence, and urges Argentina’s continued progress in this area for June 2012. Argentina should also continue working to address the range of other important AML/CFT deficiencies that remain.
The FATF welcomes Honduras’ significant progress in improving its AML/CFT regime and notes that Honduras has largely met its commitments in its Action Plan regarding the strategic deficiencies that the FATF had identified in February 2010. Honduras is therefore no longer subject to FATF’s monitoring process under its on-going global AML/CFT compliance process. Honduras will work with CFATF as it continues to address the full range of AML/CFT issues identified in its Mutual Evaluation Report, and further strengthen its AML/CFT regime.
The FATF welcomes Paraguay’s significant progress in improving its AML/CFT regime and notes that Paraguay has largely met its commitments in its Action Plan regarding the strategic deficiencies that the FATF had identified in February 2010. Paraguay is therefore no longer subject to FATF’s monitoring process under its on-going global AML/CFT compliance process. Paraguay will work with GAFISUD as it continues to address the full range of AML/CFT issues identified in its Mutual Evaluation Report, particularly regarding further implementation of Special Recommendation VI and Special Recommendation IX.
Paris, 17 February 2012