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Easing into new virtual currency reporting rules

FINTRAC’s compliance exams won’t start until April 2022

Under new anti-money laundering (AML) rules that take effect June 1, financial firms will have to start reporting large virtual currency transfers to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) — but there’s a grace period.

While the new requirements will take effect next month, FINTRAC said that it won’t be assessing compliance with those rules until next year, starting April 1, 2022.

The new requirements include an obligation for firms to report virtual currency trades worth over $10,000 and to keep records of reportable transactions.

FINTRAC’s online reporting system for large virtual currency transactions is expected to be available in the fall.

Additionally, firms will have to start reporting international electronic transfers of over $10,000 starting June 1.

Given the significance of the changes and their impact on both FINTRAC and reporting firms, the federal agency said in a bulletin that it will “exercise flexibility and reasonability when assessing [firms’] compliance” with the new requirements.

Between June 1 and March 31, 2022, FINTRAC’s compliance reviews will focus on requirements that were in effect prior to June 1.

“During this period, FINTRAC will also review [firms’] most up-to-date compliance program elements.”

The agency is also planning to update its guidance on penalties for violations of the new requirements by next spring.

Source: INVESTMENT EXECUTIVE