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Providing information to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU)


The Financial Intelligence Unit collects and investigates reports of suspicious financial transactions. The English name of the central office and the corresponding abbreviation are often used: Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). The aim of the FIU is to prevent, detect and support the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

For this purpose, the Financial Intelligence Unit may request information from you if you are an obliged entity or an obliged person, regardless of whether you have submitted a report. You are considered an obliged entity if you are active as an economic operator in Germany.

As a rule, you must provide the Central Financial Transaction Investigation Unit with the requested information. The information includes all information that is necessary for the fulfillment of the task, whereby the information may concern you or third parties, for example your customers or other business contacts.

In certain cases, you as the obligated party can refuse to provide information. This is the case, for example, if you are a

  • lawyer, legal adviser, patent attorney or notary public, you are involved in the planning or execution of certain transactions for a client or provide advice or other services in certain areas of activity, or
  • are certified public accountants, chartered accountants, tax consultants or tax agents and
  • the request for information relates to information that you have received during the legal advice or legal representation of your contractual partner.

However, the duty to provide information remains in force if you know that your contractual partner is using the legal advice for the purpose of money laundering or terrorist financing.

If you are required to provide information about persons or other third parties, you may not inform these parties.

Process flow

You only have to act if the Financial Intelligence Unit requests you to provide information. This does not affect your obligation to submit a suspicious activity report in accordance with Section 43 (1) GwG.

You will receive requests for information from the FIU

  • by post, by fax or
  • electronically via the mailbox function of the reporting portal of the Financial Intelligence Unit: goAML.

As a rule, you must reply electronically:

  • Register with goAML if necessary.
    • To do so, you must, among other things:
      • designate a principal person responsible for money laundering in your organization and
      • provide proof of your identity and that of the person with primary responsibility.
    • Further information on registration can be found on the customs website.
  • Register with goAML.
  • Reply to the request for information via the mailbox function.
  • If necessary, you can also send requested documents via the mailbox.
  • The Central Office for Financial Transaction Investigations may ask you to submit further documents or provide additional information. Please always comply with this request.
  • You will receive a confirmation from the Financial Intelligence Unit.

Requirements

You are the obligor or obligated party. These include, among others:

  • Credit institutions
  • financial services institutions
  • Payment institutions and e-money institutions
  • (e-money) agents
  • insurance companies
  • Auditors, sworn auditors, tax consultants and tax agents
  • Real estate agents
  • Lawyers, legal advisors, patent attorneys and notaries public
  • Trust companies
  • Organizers and intermediaries of games of chance
  • Persons who trade commercially in goods. These include manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers
  • the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority
  • the supervisory authorities for the insurance industry

Which documents are required?

You can find out which documents are required in your case in the request for information from the Central Office for Financial Transaction Investigations.

What are the fees?

The FIU does not charge any costs. You must bear your own costs or expenses in connection with the provision of information.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

The Financial Intelligence Unit will grant you a reasonable period of time to respond to the request for information and will inform you of this within the scope of the request.

Applications / forms

Forms: none

Online procedure possible: yes

Written form required: no

Personal appearance required: no

Appeal

  • objection
  • Administrative court action

Technically approved by

Federal Ministry of Finance

Professionally released on

06.04.2021

Author

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)