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AML/CFT Supervision

The Central Bank of the UAE established a dedicated Department in August 2020 to handle all Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting the Financing of Terrorism matters (AML/CFT) which the Banking Supervision Department handled previously.

The Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting the Financing of Terrorism Supervision Department (AMLD) serves three key objectives:

 

• Examining Licensed Financial Institutions (LFIs),

• Ensuring adherence to the UAE’s AML/CFT legal and regulatory framework, and

• Identifying relevant threats, vulnerabilities and emerging risks concerning the UAE's financial sector.

 

Through AMLD, the CBUAE coordinates closely with the UAE’s National AML/CFT Committee to effectively implement the National Action Plan.

 

Within the CBUAE, the AMLD coordinates with the Examination Division of the Banking Supervision Department to exchange AML/CFT information on LFIs, and also works closely with the Enforcement Division to impose penalties required as outlined within the CBUAE’s legal, regulatory and enforcement framework.

 

Externally, the AMLD acts as the interface between the CBUAE and domestic stakeholders with a focus on facilitating cooperation to enhance the compliance of LFIs with AML/CFT requirements, often alongside the UAE's supervisory, regulatory and law enforcement authorities and the UAE Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). The AMLD also collaborates with international stakeholders to exchange information on best practices concerning conducting AML/CFT processes and with foreign supervisors to handle requests for information on AML/CFT cases and perform joint AML/CFT examinations.

 

The distinct mandates divisions within the AMLD

Compliance and Examination:

Devises the annual AML/CFT risk-based supervisory plan, conducts supervisory examinations and issues corrective actions to LFIs. It also recommends sanctions and disciplinary measures in addressing cases of non-adherence by LFIs.

Policy and Cooperation:

Prepares policies and guidance for supervised LFIs, performs outreach activities, handles requests for information from local and international regulators, manages coordination with national committees and other authorities, and liaises with domestic and international stakeholders.

Research and Risk Analysis:

Collects AML/CFT-related data points from LFIs and other stakeholders, performs institutional and sectoral risk assessments, and creates dashboards of risk analysis to identify areas of vulnerability in LFIs for input into the compliance and examination plans compiled by the CBUAE.

UAE Decree Federal Law and Executive Regulation

Federal Decree No. (20) of 2018 is a fundamental pillar of the UAE’s AML/CFT efforts. This Decree stipulated the establishment of:


- a committee dedicated to AML/CFT objectives, under the chairmanship of the Governor of the CBUAE.
- an independent Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to receive and investigate all reports submitted by financial institutions and other corporate establishments regarding suspected illicit financial activity.

 

As implemented by Cabinet Decision No. (10) of 2019, Federal Decree No. (20) of 2018 as amended by Federal Decree Law No (26) of 2021, has raised the effectiveness of the legal and institutional framework of the nation in the field of AML/CFT, in line with the requirements and recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).


UAE Decree Federal Law and Executive Regulation

Federal Decree Law No (20) of 2018 on Anti Money Laundering and Combatting the Financing of Terrorism and Financing of Illegal Organisations.


UAE Decree Federal Law and Executive Regulation

Federal Decree Law No (26) of 2021 amending certain provisions of Federal Decree Law No. (20) for 2018 on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism and Financing of Illegal Organisations.


UAE Decree Federal Law and Executive Regulation

Cabinet Decision No (10) of 2019 concerning the Implementing Regulation of Decree Law No 20 of 2018 on Anti Money Laundering and Combatting the Financing of Terrorism and Financing of Illegal Organisations.

FATF UAE Mutual Evaluation and NAMLCFT Committee

In April 2020, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) issued its Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) on the UAE’s AML/CFT measures. Based on an assessment conducted in 2019, the MER analyses the UAE’s compliance level with the FATF 40 Recommendations and the effectiveness of its AML/CFT system. The MER also provides recommendations on how the system could be strengthened.

The UAE’s National AML/CFT Committee (NAMLCFTC), chaired by His Excellency the Governor of the CBUAE, revised the UAE’s National Strategy in line with the risks identified in the MER and the UAE’s National Risk Assessment.   This strategy change is supported by an enhanced National Action Plan that outlines a detailed series of initiatives and actions with multiple domestic stakeholders and authorities to implement the MER’s recommendations. The CBUAE also contributed significantly to the National Action Plan.  The CBUAE has defined compliance with the MER's recommendations as a key strategic objective and focus area for 2020-2021.  

UAE Cabinet Decisions

Two Cabinet Decisions in 2020 further tightened the UAE's AML/CFT regulatory regime. Cabinet Decision No. (74) of 2020 details the requirements regarding Terrorism Lists and the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions on the suppression and combatting of terrorism, terrorist financing and countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and its financing. Cabinet Decision No. (58) of 2020, introduced minimum obligations for registrars and legal persons in the UAE, and aims to enhance the transparency of entities registered in the UAE. It also seeks to develop effective and sustainable executive and regulatory mechanisms and procedures in respect of beneficial owner data.

Cabinet Decision No (74)

Cabinet Decision No (74) of 2020 regarding Terrorism Lists Regulation and Implementation of UNSC Resolutions

 

Download

Cabinet Decision No (58)

Cabinet Decision No (58) of 2020 Regulating the Beneficial Owner Procedures

 

Download

Related Regulations

The CBUAE's Procedures for Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism and Illicit Organizations require the FInancial Institutions' compliance with the Federal Decree-Law No. (20) of 2018, the Executive Regulation as well as with relevant instructions, guidelines and notices issued by the CBUAE. The CBUAE has additionally issued specific regulations and standards for the sectors of Licensed Exchange Houses and Registered Hawala Providers.


CBUAE Regulations

Procedures for Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism and Illicit Organizations.


CBUAE Regulations

Registered Hawala Providers Regulation.


CBUAE Regulations

Amended Chapter 16 of the Standards for the Regulations Regarding Licensing and Monitoring of Exchange Business.

Reporting Suspicious Transactions

The UAE Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), an independent body under UAE law, analyses suspicious transactions and activities that may involve money laundering, terrorism financing and related criminal activities (ML/TF), on the basis of data and reports from financial institutions and designated non-financial business and professions who collaborate and share knowledge to detect and act against such activities.

If a Licensed Financial Institution suspects that a transaction, attempted transaction, activity, or funds, constitute, in whole or in part, regardless of the amount, the proceeds of a Crime, are related to a Crime, or are intended to be used in a Crime, it must report without any delay a Suspicious Transaction Report (STR), a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) or other report types to the FIU.

A reporting entity in the UAE should be connected to the goAML platform to submit a STR, SAR and other report types to the FIU.

For any technical query related to the GoAML portal (including errors or troubleshooting), please contact the FIU via goAML@UAEFIU.gov.ae

For correspondence regarding a STR/SAR or any other filed report, please use the GoAML Message Board

For filing/business related report queries, please contact the FIU via FIUSTR@UAEFIU.gov.ae

For any query related to the IEMS system, please contact the FIU via FIUDC@UAEFIU.gov.ae

For any other query, the FIU can be contacted via UAEFIU@UAEFIU.gov.ae 


The CBUAE, jointly with the FIU, conducts outreach and awareness-raising efforts on the importance of reporting suspicious transactions in supervised sectors.

Website of the UAE Financial Intelligence Unit


Suspicious Transactions Reporting

STR Outreach & Awareness (Insurance sector, 11 March 2021).

11 March 2021


Suspicious Transactions Reporting

STR Outreach & Awareness (All Banks & Finance Companies, 10 March 2021).

10 March 2021


Suspicious Transactions Reporting

STR Outreach & Awareness (Exchange Houses, 10 March 2021).

10 March 2021


Suspicious Transactions Reporting

STR Outreach & Awareness (Hawala providers, 9 March 2021).

09 March 2021


Suspicious Transactions Reporting

AML/CFT Guidance for Licensed Financial Institutions on Suspicious Transactions Reporting.

Targeted Financial Sanctions (TFS)

All Licensed Financial Institutions (LFIs) are required to fully comply with the obligation to implement all necessary measures without delay as described in the Cabinet Decision No. (74) of 2020, the “Guidance on Targeted Financial Sanctions (TFS) for FIs and Designated Non-Financial Business and Professions (DNFBPs)” issued by the Executive Office of the Committee for Goods & Material Subjected to Import and Export Control, the “Guidance for LFIs on the implementation of TFS” issued by the CBUAE, and any of their amendments or updates thereof.

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Exchange Houses

The Standards for the Regulations Regarding Licensing and Monitoring of Exchange Business issued by the CBUAE include Chapter 16 that is dedicated to AML/CFT Compliance. In addition, the CBUAE has developed specific guidance for the Licensed Exchange Houses' sector further to other guidances on selected topics that apply to all Licensed Financial Institutions.

Exchange Houses

Insurance Sector

As per the Decree Federal law No (25) of 2020, the Insurance Authority merged with the CBUAE to assume the regulation and supervision of the insurance sector. The CBUAE has developed specific guidance for the Insurance sector further to other guidances on selected topics that apply to all Licensed Financial Institutions.

AML/CFT Guidance for the Insurance sector

[In progress – not yet issued]

Insurance Authority’s Board of Directors’ Decision No. (19) of 2020 Concerning the Guidance Manual for Insurance Companies and Insurance- Related Professions to Submitting the Data, information and Supervisory Reports.

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Registered Hawala Providers

The CBUAE permits legitimate hawala activity, being considered an important element in its continuous efforts to boost financial inclusion and bring the unbanked segment of the population into the regulated financial system. All providers undertaking hawala activity in the UAE must hold a Hawala Provider Certificate issued by the CBUAE. Hawala is regulated by the Registered Hawala Providers Regulation issued by the CBUAE in 2019. In addition the CBUAE has developed specific guidance for Registered Hawala Providers further to other guidances on selected topics that apply to all Licensed Financial Institutions.

Registered Hawala Providers

Outreach

The CBUAE conducts Thematic Reviews.

 

The CBUAE conducts outreach and organises awareness events for its supervised sectors. Furthermore, it actively participates in forums to discuss issues and challenges facing the banking industry in relation to AML/CFT, often alongside the private sector.


Outreach

Outreach Presentation on CBUAE AMLCFT Guidance for Licensed Exchange Houses and Amended Chapter 16 of the Standards - 12 January 2022.

12 January 2022


Outreach

Outreach Presentation on CBUAE AMLCFT Guidance for LFIs providing services to Cash-Intensive Businesses – 29 Sept 2021.

29 September 2021


Outreach

Outreach Presentation on CBUAE AMLCFT Guidance for LFIs on Transaction monitoring and Sanctions screening - 14 Sept 2021.

14 September 2021


Outreach

Outreach Presentation on CBUAE AMLCFT Guidance for Registered Hawala providers - 26 August 2021.

26 August 2021


Outreach

Outreach Presentation on CBUAE AMLCFT Guidance for LFIs providing services to Registered Hawala Providers - 24 August 2021.

24 August 2021


Outreach

Outreach Presentation on AMLCFT Institutional Risk for LFIs - 18 August 2021.

18 August 2021


Outreach

Outreach Presentation on CBUAE AMLCFT Guidances for LFIs providing services to Legal Persons & Arrangements and Real Estate and Precious Metals & Stones sectors - 4 August 2021.

04 August 2021


Outreach

Joint Guidelines on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Terrorist Financing, June 2021.

30 June 2021


Outreach

Sanctions Screening Testing Thematic Review, January 2021.

31 January 2021


Outreach

UBF Conference on Regulatory Financial Crime Implementations Across the UAE Financial Sector, 25 November 2020.

25 November 2020


Outreach

Typologies in the Financial Sector.


Outreach

CBUAE Sectoral Report – Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Risk Assessment

Domestic and International Co-operation

The UAE’s National AML/CFT Committee (NAMLCFTC), chaired by His Excellency the Governor of the CBUAE, revised the UAE’s National Strategy in line with the risks identified in the MER and the UAE’s National Risk Assessment.   This strategy change is supported by an enhanced National Action Plan that outlines a detailed series of initiatives and actions with multiple domestic stakeholders and authorities to implement the MER’s recommendations. The CBUAE also contributed significantly to the National Action Plan.  The CBUAE has defined compliance with the MER's recommendations as a key strategic objective and focus area for 2020-2021.  

Enforcement

The CBUAE requires all LFIs to comply with UAE Decree Federal Law and Executive Regulations, and any CBUAE Regulations and directions.

 

As a general principle, the CBUAE will publish the outcome of administrative and financial sanctions, including penalties imposed as result of enforcement action.


Enforcement

CBUAE imposes financial sanctions on 6 Hawala providers operating in the UAE.

15 December 2021


Enforcement

CBUAE imposes monitoring and financial sanctions on a bank operating in the UAE.

14 December 2021


Enforcement

CBUAE imposes financial sanctions on six exchange houses operating in the UAE.

04 October 2021


Enforcement

CBUAE imposes financial sanction on an exchange house operating in the UAE.

22 April 2021


Enforcement

CBUAE imposes sanction on an individual.

25 February 2021


Enforcement

CBUAE imposes administrative sanction on an exchange house operating in the UAE.

10 February 2021


Enforcement

CBUAE imposes financial sanctions on 11 banks operating in the UAE.

31 January 2021

Contact

 

 

For any query related to AML/CFT supervision matter, please contact amlcft@cbuae.gov.ae.

 

For any correspondence on STR/SAR or other successfully filed reports, please use the goAML message board.

 

For any query related to the IEMS system or requests, please contact the UAE FIU via FIUDC@UAEFIU.gov.ae.  

 

For any query related to Targeted Financial Sanctions, please contact the Executive Office of the Committee for Goods and Materials Subject to Import and Export Control via iec@uaeiec.gov.ae

  • For any technical query on the goAML portal (including errors or troubleshooting), please contact the UAE FIU via goAML@UAEFIU.gov.ae.  

  • For filing or business-related queries on reports, please contact the UAE FIU via FIUSTR@UAEFIU.gov.ae 

  • For any other query, please contact the FIU via UAEFIU@UAEFIU.gov.ae.

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Last updated on: Thursday 18 August 2022

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