South Africa Proposes Amendments to Strengthen Anti-Money Laundering Efforts

Finance Minister seeks public input on regulations to enhance reporting of cross-border financial transactions.

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has announced a call for public comments and written submissions regarding proposed amendments to South Africa’s Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Control Regulations. The amendments aim to bolster the nation’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing framework by enhancing reporting requirements for the conveyance of cash or bearer negotiable instruments into or out of the country.

According to the National Treasury, the proposed changes, outlined in Gazette Notice 50450 no 4712 published on April 8, 2024, are in line with section 77(5)(a) of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, 2001 (Act No. 38 of 2001).

The proposed amendments empower the Minister to set a threshold amount for reporting under section 30 of the FIC Act. It is proposed that the threshold be set at R24,999.99, requiring individuals transporting R25,000 or more into or out of the Republic to report such transactions.

Furthermore, the amendments specify the information required in these reports to ensure transparency and traceability in cross-border financial flows. The Minister, in consultation with the South African Revenue Service (SARS), has determined that reports under section 30 can be integrated into the Customs and Excise Act of 1964.

In practical terms, the Minister plans to authorize Customs Officers to receive these reports physically at ports of entry and exit or electronically through the traveler declarations system developed by SARS.

The proposed amendments also outline the responsibilities of authorized persons in receiving and processing these reports, aiming to streamline reporting procedures and enhance the efficiency of anti-money laundering efforts.

In summary, the proposed amendments seek to strengthen South Africa’s financial system’s resilience against illicit financial activities, aligning with international standards for combating money laundering and terrorist financing. Interested parties are invited to submit their comments and feedback on the draft amendments before the deadline.

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