Sweden chaired the fifteenth round (2003-2004) of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). A major task of the round was the recent completion of the review of the future of the FATF from 2004 to 2012. Other significant achievements of the round were the issuance of further guidance for implementing the Eight Special Recommendations on terrorist financing, increased collaboration with the International Financial Institutions in assessing national systems for anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) at a global level, and the development of a more effective process for the study of trends and techniques in money laundering and terrorist financing.
On 14 May 2004, FATF Ministers and representatives from its 33 members reaffirmed their commitment to the FATF effort to combat money laundering and terrorist financing by renewing the Task Force’s mandate for a further eight years. This was the third extension of the FATF mandate. While previous mandates were for a five-year duration, the latest extension for eight years demonstrates that FATF members remain united in their commitment to AML/CFT policies and see the FATF as a critical instrument in this effort.
The new mandate of the FATF, which covers the period from September 2004 to December 2012, sets out the main tasks for the FATF in the future. The priorities will be to continue to set standards to combat money laundering and terrorist financing; to carry out typologies and compliance work in order to ensure global action against money laundering and terrorist financing; to develop closer co-operation with the IMF and the World Bank; and to enhance FATF’s relationships with FATF-style regional bodies (FSRBs). This new eight year mandate is a recognition of the obvious need to deepen and expand the international community’s effort to fight money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
Given the relative newness of the Eight Special Recommendations on terrorist financing, the FATF has continued to interpret and refine guidance on how to implement individual Special Recommendations. The FATF published an interpretative note and a best practices paper on Special Recommendation III (freezing and confiscating terrorists’ assets) in October 2003 and an interpretative note on Special Recommendation II (criminalisation of terrorist financing) in June 2004. Finally, in February 2004 the FATF held a seminar on terrorist financing with 13 countries from Asia and the Middle East.
FATF Annual Report 2003-2004