The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) today issued its thirteenth Annual Report. *(See pdf link below)*
In addition to the main achievements of the FATF in 2001-2002, the Annual Report includes a review of the significant progress that has been made in combating terrorist financing, and in the work on non-cooperative countries and territories (NCCTs).
The FATF’s Plan of Action to counter terrorist financing was a major priority of the organisation during the past year. This Plan of Action includes a self-assessment process for all its members on their anti-terrorist financing measures. Members reportedly are working to come into compliance quickly with the Eight Special Recommendations, and the FATF has indicated that it will continue to strive for full compliance of these Recommendations, both with its own membership and globally.
Other Highlights of the News Conference today in Paris (and the Annual Report) include:
To date, the FATF has received more than 50 responses to the self-assessment process launched (on the same basis as for members) for all other countries of the world. FATF President Clarie Lo said, *”We are very encouraged by the participation of non-FATF countries in this exercise and we will work to ensure that countries that have not yet replied to the questionnaire do so by the 1 September.”* The FATF has established a Working Group to identify, on the basis of the replies to the self-assessment questionnaire, centres that lack appropriate measures to counter terrorist financing for follow-up assessment and/or technical assistance by the IMF, World Bank and the United Nations.
The FATF removed Hungary, Israel, Lebanon; and St. Kitts and Nevis from the list of non-cooperative countries and territories (NCCTs) in the fight against money laundering. It said, in line with past practice, it will continue to monitor closely future developments in these jurisdictions.
The current list of NCCTs includes: Cook Islands; Dominica; Egypt; Grenada; Guatemala; Indonesia; Marshall Islands; Myanmar; Nauru; Nigeria; Niue; Philippines; Russia; St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and Ukraine.
The FATF has called on its members to update advisories requesting that their financial institutions give special attention to businesses and transactions with persons, including companies and financial institutions in listed countries or territories to take into account the changes in the list.
The FATF welcomed further progress made by a number of the 15 jurisdictions on the list. On the basis of the progress made, Grenada, Niue, Russia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines will be invited to submit implementation plans to enable the FATF to evaluate the actual implementation of their legislative changes.
The FATF announced that it will review the situation of each NCCT again at its next Plenary meeting. This is scheduled for 9-11 October 2002.
**Review of Forty Recommendations**
With the aim of reinforcing the international anti-money laundering standard and for the first time since the adoption of its Forty Recommendations in 1990, the FATF has issued a Consultation Paper, setting out a range of issues being considered as FATF reviews the Recommendations. *(See Related News Article – 31/5)*
Consultations regarding this paper are continuing and the review of the FATF world standards is expected to be completed early in 2003.
**International Financial Institutions**
The FATF reinforced collaboration with the international financial institutions. It endorsed the use of a comprehensive methodology, based on all FATF 40 and 8 Recommendations in conducting assessments as part of the IMF/World Bank’s Financial Sector Assessment Program and its Reports on Observance of Standards and Codes process.
The FATF also has agreed to make available experts in anti-money laundering and combating terrorist financing issues from FATF and FATF-style regional bodies for IMF/World Bank-led mission teams to assess compliance based on the comprehensive methodology.