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FinCEN Issues FATF Advisory Update

On April 5, FinCEN issued an advisory updating the FATF-identified jurisdictions with AML/CFT deficiencies. The advisory includes jurisdictions that are subject to the Financial Action Task Force’s call for countermeasures or are subject to enhanced due diligence because of their anti-money laundering/anti-terrorism financing deficiencies.

The Financial Action Task Force recognized Iran’s progress in adopting and making high-level commitments to an action plan to address its strategic AML and anti-terror financing deficiencies. The task force conditionally suspended its call for countermeasures against Iran for a period of 12 months, during which it would closely monitor Iran’s progress in implementing the plan. Until the 12-month period ends in June 2017, the FATF has removed Iran from category A (countermeasures) and placed it in category B (enhanced due diligence).

Meanwhile, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ethiopia, Iraq, Lao PDR, Syria, Uganda, Vanuatu and Yemen were added to the FATF list as having deficiencies in their AML/CFT regime—and each country has developed an action plan with the FATF. The 2012 FATF mutual evaluation methodology assesses both technical compliance with the FATF standards and the effectiveness of a country’s AML/CFT regime. With that assessment, Ethiopia is the first country that has made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG) to strengthen its effectiveness and address any related technical deficiencies.

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