Why is Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) Required?

Why is Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) Required?

Who is required to register under the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA)?

According to the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), those who are covered persons (CPs) supervised and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), and by the Insurance Commission (IC); Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs), and persons who provide services such as: “a) managing of client money, securities or other assets; b) management of bank, savings or securities accounts; c) organization of contributions for the creation, operation or management of companies; and d) creation, operation or management of juridical persons or arrangements, and buying and selling business entities” are required to register under the Anti-Money Laundering Act.


The most common professions and industries affected by this Act are but not limited to lawyers, real estate brokers, developers, pawn-shops, off-shore gaming operators, jewelry dealers and banks. You may view the full list under Republic Act 9160.


To be able to register under the Anti-Money Laundering Council, there are steps that one must do. The Anti-Money Laundering Council states the following registration procedure:


1. Register with the AMLC via the online registration system (ORS).


2. Before proceeding with the registration, however, compliance officers (COs)/ associated persons (APs)/ primary designated officers (PDOs) must have document/s, showing their designation. Document/s will be attached in the ORS, preferably in PDF file format.


Note that Part 2 of the Online Registration System of the AMLC Registration and Reporting Guidelines (ARRG) contains the list of documents required for designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs), which includes jewelry dealers, persons dealing with precious metals and stones, company service providers, lawyers, and accountants.


While said requirements are being completed, a Provisional Certificate of Registration (PCOR) may already be issued if the registering DNFBP provides, at least, the following:


a. Articles of Partnership/Incorporation/Department of Trade and Industry Certificate/ proof of registration with the Cooperative Development Authority/Real Estate Brokers’ Certificate of Registration or License from the Professional Regulation Commission;
b. Notarized Appointment of Compliance Officer/Primary Designated Officer; and
c. Notarized Deeds of Undertaking of the entity signed by the proprietor/partners/president/director (Annexes B and C of the 2021 AML/CFT Guideline for DNFBPs)


Note that Section 49 of the AML/CFT Guidelines for DNFBPs (DNFBP Guidelines) contains the additional list of documentary requirements.


3. Covered persons’ compliance officers (CO)/ associated persons (AP)/ primary designated officers (PDO) must create a key ID under their name in the GPG (Kleopatra) Software (optional for alternate officers) to be exported and attached in the online registration.


4. Once items 2 and 3 have been accomplished, Compliance Officers/ Associated Persons/ Primary Designated Officers may now enter the AMLC Portal (https://portal.amlc.gov.ph) and proceed with the online registration.


5. Please ensure the correct input of e-mail address/es in the ORS, which the system will verify, as registration approvals will be sent to said e-mail address/es. It must be noted that e-mail addresses of registered personnel must be distinct from each other.”


For processing of the applications, the cut-off time for registration applications is at 1pm. If the documents have been received beyond the 1pm cut-off, the processing shall be done the day after submission of documents.


In case the requirement submitted is only good for a Provisional Certificate of Registration, BSP will issue the corresponding certificate, and the DNFBP has six months to complete all other requirements needed for a Certificate of Registration unless otherwise extended.


Note that PCOR is valid only for six months, unless AMLCS executive Director of Officer-in-Charge grants a one time extension for up to six (6) months, upon write request with justification. The request must be submitted to AMLC no later than ten (10 working days prior to the expiration of the PCOR.


In order for DNFBP to get a Certificate of Registration in exchange of the PCOR the following documents must be submitted in addition to the requirement under the PCOR:


1. Copy of the business registration or permit from the city or municipality currently having jurisdiction over the place of establishment and operation of the office;

2. List of operating office location;

3. Proof of attendance of the proprietor, partnership, director and officer in an AMLA seminar (note: base on experience either all or at least majority of the directors must attend the AMLA seminar together with the appointed compliance officer/s)

4. Most recent Clearance from the National Bureau of Investment (NBI) or its equivalent in a foreign jurisdiction, of all directors and principal officers including the compliance officer/s.


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