Legislation to extend the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime was introduced to the House yesterday.

The Bill will extend the AML/CFT Act to include lawyers, conveyancers, accountants, real estate agents, the New Zealand Racing Board and dealers in high-end goods – e.g. motor cars, jewellery and art – when engaged in large cash transactions.

The amendments represent the second phase in the AML/CFT Act, phase one of which has been in effect since 2013.

The Government has slashed its initial estimate of compliance costs from $1.6 billion over ten years to between $800 million and $1.1 billion. The reduction reflects the fact that fewer people across all of the targeted occupations are now expected to come within the Act's purview than was originally thought.

A phased transition is planned, bringing in:

  • lawyers and conveyancers by 1 July 2018 (sensibly extended from the initial proposal of a 6 month implementation period)
  • accountants by 1 October 2018
  • real estate agents by 1 January 2019, and
  • high value dealers and the New Zealand Racing Board (sports and race betting) by 1 July 2019.

An exposure draft of the Bill was released in December last year. Further detail is available on the Ministry of Justice website here.

The information in this article is for informative purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice. Please contact Chapman Tripp for advice tailored to your situation.