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Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT)

Technical Assistance on AML/CFT

 Special Characteristics of the IMF's AML/CFT Technical Assistance

The IMF's AML/CFT technical assistance aims to improve AML/CFT regimes worldwide and to provide concrete support to the IMF's membership. This assistance is delivered through timely and high-level programs customized to fit the specific needs and priorities of IMF member countries and their respective institutions.

IMF AML/CFT technical assistance is provided on a voluntary, cooperative basis, i.e., at the request and with the assistance of the authorities of that country. It is based on international standards and best practices derived, inter alia, from the Vienna Convention, the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, and the FATF 40+9 Recommendations.

The IMF attaches great importance to country ownership. To ensure that the IMF's technical assistance is effective and brings lasting benefits, it is planned and carried out with the full involvement of the authorities of the recipient country at each stage of the process-from the identification of needs, determined by discussion and agreement on terms of reference and project goals through implementation and follow-up.

Depending on the circumstances, some technical assistance needs may be met by short-term engagements while others may require longer-term commitments. Accordingly, technical assistance may be provided in the form of headquarters-based advice, short-term on-site advisory missions, assignment of longer-term experts or resident advisors, and national or regional seminars and workshops. Such assistance may be provided bilaterally, to a single jurisdiction, or in the form of a regional program covering several jurisdictions.

Since 2009, most of the AML/CFT technical assistance is externally financed through a multi-donor Topical Trust Fund.

Technical assistance is provided upon written request to be addressed to:

The General Counsel
International Monetary Fund
700, 19th Street NW
Washington DC 20431
Fax: (1-202) 589.49.33

The IMF's AML/CFT Technical Assistance Capabilities

Technical assistance is one of the benefits of IMF membership. The IMF's Legal Department provides provides expert assistance aimed at supporting efforts to put in place effective AML/CFT frameworks in compliance with the AML/CFT international standards, including the FATF 40+9 Recommendations, relevant international conventions, and United Nations Security Council resolutions. This assistance is subject to the availablity of resources and is focused particularly on the following areas:

Diagnostics: needs assessments to determine strengths and weaknesses in the legal, regulatory, and institutional framework of countries' AML/CFT regimes and to develop plans to strengthen these regimes;

National Strategies and Coordination: general advice on AML/CFT strategy, coordination, and policy issues, including on the application of AML/CFT requirements to banks, insurance companies, securities firms, lawyers and other nonfinancial businesses and professions covered by the FATF 40+9 Recommendations; and promoting cooperation among domestic AML/CFT stakeholders and with their international counterparts;

Risk Assessments: assistance in systemically assessing money laundering and financing of terrorism risks and vulnerabilities to enable officials to better identify, measure and mitigate money laundering and financing of terrorism risks and to make better choices about the allocation of resources (either nationally or on a sector-by-sector basis);

Awareness Raising: seminars on AML/CFT for national coordinators, parliamentarians, and other stakeholders, with a view to enacting or promulgating new or updated AML/CFT laws or regulations and adopting best practices; 

Legislation: providing advice and commenting on legislative proposals, typically prior to such proposals being sent to the country's parliament (this may be done either at IMF headquarters or as part of a technical assistance mission to the country); drafting new AML or CFT legislation (or amendments thereto), including provisions in criminal law, banking and financial services law, and administrative law.

Regulations and Guidelines: drafting and updating financial and non-financial sector AML/CFT regulations, guidelines, and guidance notes;

Financial Intelligence Units: legal and operational assistance in the formation and development of financial intelligence units (FIUs) and in the training of FIU staff;

Supervisory Structures and Tools: assistance in enhancing supervisory oversight of financial and nonfinancial reporting institutions for AML/CFT (development of specialized AML/CFT supervisory units, manuals, and procedures; training of supervisors in off-site AML/CFT supervision and on-site inspection procedures);

International Cooperation: assistance in reviewing and enhancing laws and mechanisms for international cooperation; drafting memoranda of understanding (including for supervisory cooperation) and mutual legal assistance and extradition treaties;

Effectiveness and Efficiency of AML/CFT Regimes: reviewing and advising on the effectiveness and efficiency of AML/CFT national systems, or of selected AML/CFT mechanisms in place (supervisory structure, FIU, criminal justice chain, etc.), to assist governments in improving their resource allocation or in refining their AML/CFT policies.

Modes of delivery: While much of this TA is delivered through bilateral missions to member countries, the Fund also conducts regional training and workshops for professionals involved in various aspects of AML/CFT regimes, such as legal drafters, financial sector supervisors, FIU officials, and officials preparing to participate in formal assessments of other countries' AML/CFT systems; (and, as noted above, some legal drafting advice can be provided in part through correspondence with headquarters).