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Legislation

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Hong Kong has put in place a number of legislation to underpin the implementation of a robust anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (“AML/CTF”) regime. These include:

Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance (“AMLO”), Cap. 615

The AMLO provides for the statutory requirements relating to customer due diligence (“CDD”) and record-keeping for specified financial institutions and designated non-financial businesses and professions, including trust or company service providers (“TCSPs”). The Companies Registry is the regulatory body for TCSPs. The AMLO introduces a licensing regime for TCSPs requiring them to apply for a licence from the Registrar of Companies and satisfy a “fit-and-proper” test before they can provide trust or company services as a business in Hong Kong.

Drug Trafficking (Recovery of Proceeds) Ordinance (“DTROPO”), Cap. 405

The DTROPO provides for the tracing, confiscation and recovery of the proceeds of drug trafficking, and creates offences relating to the handling of those proceeds or property representing those proceeds, and for incidental or related matters. The DTROPO imposes a universal obligation on suspicious transaction reporting on all persons and entities if they have knowledge or suspicion that proceeds of drug trafficking are involved in any transactions.

Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance (“OSCO”), Cap. 455

The OSCO provides for the powers of investigation into organized crimes and the proceeds of crime of certain offenders; the restraint and confiscation of proceeds of crime; creating offences relating to the handling of proceeds of crime or property representing the proceeds of crime; and for ancillary and connected matters. The OSCO imposes a universal obligation on suspicious transaction reporting on all persons and entities if they have knowledge or suspicion that criminal proceeds are involved in any transactions.

United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Ordinance (“UNATMO”), Cap. 575

The UNATMO provides for the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 relating to measures for the prevention of terrorist acts. In that connection, it also implements the United Nations International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation and the United Nations Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf. The UNATMO imposes a universal obligation on suspicious transaction reporting on all persons and entities if they have knowledge or suspicion that any property is terrorist property.

In addition, the United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 was enacted on 21 March 2018 to prohibit any person from dealing with specified terrorist property and property of specified terrorists or terrorist associates, as well as to criminalise, among other things, the financing of the travel of individuals between states for the purpose of perpetration, planning or preparation of, or participation in, terrorist acts or the provision or receiving of terrorist training. The amendments came into operation on 31 May 2018.

United Nations Sanctions Ordinance (“UNSO”), Cap. 537

The UNSO provides for the imposition of sanctions against places outside the People’s Republic of China arising from Chapter 7 of the Charter of the United Nations. Regulations are made to implement sanctions, at the instructions made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China. A number of regulations made under the UNSO are directly relevant to the AML/CTF objectives. These are the United Nations Sanctions (Afghanistan) Regulation 2012, Cap. 537AX, the United Nations Sanctions (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Actions—Iran) Regulation, Cap. 537BV, and the United Nations Sanctions (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) Regulation, Cap. 537AE.

Weapons of Mass Destruction (Control of Provision of Services) Ordinance, (“WMDO”), Cap. 526

The WMDO prohibits the provision of services that will or may assist the development, production, acquisition or stockpiling of weapons of mass destruction in Hong Kong or elsewhere. For the purpose of the WMDO, the provision of services covers a wide range of activities, such as financing, sourcing of materials, the provision of training, technological information or know-how, and other consulting services.

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