The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) has recently published draft anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing rules (AML/CTF Rules) which are relevant to digital currency exchange service providers following the passage of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Amendment Act 2017 (Act) in December 2017. The new laws are scheduled to come into effect on 13 June 2018.  Tthe Act introduces new laws to regulate digital currency exchange service providers in the same way in which traditional currency exchange providers are regulated under AML/CTF laws.

AUSTRAC has published guidance on how businesses can prepare for the new laws. Businesses will be required to register with AUSTRAC and comply with certain reporting obligations under the new legislation, but they will not be able to register until the laws commence. Businesses should prepare for the new laws and develop an understanding of their reporting obligations and the requirements for an AML/CTF program.

The draft AML/CTF Rules are open for public consultation from 16 January 2018 until 13 February 2018 and provide details on how to make a submission.