On 19 May 2023 the Financial Intelligence Centre ("FIC") issued a reminder to accountable institutions to comply with their obligations under Directive 6 of 2023 which requires designated non-financial businesses and professions ("DNFBPs") listed in Schedule 1 of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, 2001 ("FICA") to submit information regarding their understanding of money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing.

To ensure compliance, DNFBPs are required to submit a mandatory risk and compliance return by 17:00 on Wednesday, May 31, 2023. This return should cover the period from 1 April 2022, to 31 March 2023, inclusive. The following DNFBPs are obligated to complete this risk and compliance return:

  • legal practitioners;
  • board of executors or trust and company service providers;
  • property practitioners; and
  • gambling sector.

Certain credit providers, the South African Postbank, dealers in high-value goods and the South African Mint Company must in terms of Directive 7 of 2023 submit similar reports to the FIC by 31 July 2023.

According to the FIC, the returns serve as crucial building blocks for the development of financial intelligence. These reports are instrumental in supporting law enforcement, intelligence agencies, and other entities in their investigations, prosecutions, and applications for asset forfeiture. The FIC relies on these reports to gather necessary information and facilitate effective actions against financial crimes.

DNFBPs must submit regulatory reports on money laundering and terrorist financing immediately. Failure to comply by 31 May, 2023, will result in severe sanctions. These reports are vital for financial intelligence and supporting law enforcement.

On a different note, information officer and heads of private bodies are called to submit reports in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000 ("PAIA") to the Information Regulator by no later 30 June 2023.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.