What are the obligations for Mexican entities?
What are the higher applicable administrative sanctions?
On January 18th, 2021, the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF, for its initials in Spanish) published on their Anti-Money Laundering Portal System a criteria update related to the Federal Law for the Prevention and Identification of Operations with Resources of Illicit Origin (LFPIORPI, for its initials in Spanish, or Anti-Money Laundering Law), in which it is specified that centralized treasury operations and the granting of credits, loans or non-interest-bearing loans between companies of the same business group will qualify as a vulnerable activity.
In this sense, the UIF points out that said operations will be subject to comply with all the obligations established on the applicable legislation, except for the filing of the notices, instead they will only have to file a report in "zeros", on a monthly basis, in which they indicate that the operations carried out are exempt from filing notices in accordance with of the general rules referred to by the LFPIORPI. The above, provided that the total amount of the operation has been ministered through institutions of the financial system and such companies are part of a business group.
In this regard, it is convenient to recall that in the past said criteria stated that centralized treasury operations and the granting of loans or the execution of non-interest-bearing loans between companies of the same business group, in which there was no offer to the public in general, and that were carried out as acts of the internal operation of said business group, would not qualify as a vulnerable activity. The UIF considers this change is not retroactive (compliance obligations – regularization process).
Therefore, considering the change on the mentioned criteria, the entities that carry out operations of this nature between companies that are part of a business group, must comply with the following obligations:
- Enrolment at the register of regulated subjects and appoint a compliance office
- File the monthly reports in "zeros" before the competent authority, under the terms provided by the Anti-Money Laundering Law
- Draft an Internal Compliance Policy regarding anti-money laundering measures
- Identify the clients and users, as well as verify their identity based on official documentation
- Request information for the existence and identification of the controlling/final beneficiary
- Generate and, where appropriate, update the unique files of clients or users
- Keep the supporting documentation for the vulnerable activity, and clients or user identification for a period of 5 years
Failure to comply with the obligations provided by the Anti-Money Laundering Law could lead to the imposition of administrative sanctions consisting on fines of approximately MXN 18,000 to MXN 5,900,000, or between 10% and 100% of the value of each act or operation, when they are quantifiable in money.
Finally, it is important to note that although the UIF has specified that the responses to certain criteria contained in its portal are indicative and informative, and in no case constitute an act of authority or an interpretation, this change of criteria must be analysed in detail in each operation to determine the implications for the entities involved, including the date from which the possible anti-money laundering obligations would be triggered.
We remind you that the Partners and lawyers of the Firm's Corporate Legal Practice are more than willing to work together with you to support you in analysing the impact of this criterion on your company's operations, as well as in any regularization activity.
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