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Report suspicions of money laundering or terrorist financing


The German Money Laundering Act (GwG) obliges you as an economic player operating in Germany to cooperate in the prevention of money laundering. The persons and companies obliged to cooperate are therefore also referred to as "obliged entities". These include, among others

  • Credit institutions, financial companies,
  • insurance companies,
  • casinos,
  • Lawyers and notaries public,
  • auditors and tax consultants,
  • real estate agents,
  • traders in goods,
  • art brokers.

Regardless of the value of the asset concerned or the amount of the transaction, under certain conditions you are obliged to immediately send a suspicious activity report to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). The FIU is a directorate within the General Directorate of Customs.

The reporting obligation applies regardless of

  • regardless of the value of the asset or the amount of the transaction
  • and the method of payment (cash or non-cash).

The threshold value of EUR 10,000 (or EUR 2,000 in certain cases) specified in the Money Laundering Act relates to the general due diligence obligations for traders in goods and art brokers and not to the reporting obligation.

Failure to prevent money laundering, which also includes the prevention of terrorist financing, can have serious consequences for you. For breaches of duty under the Money Laundering Act that constitute an administrative offense and do not require a direct link to a money laundering offense,

  • fines of up to EUR 150,000 may be imposed for willful violations and fines of up to EUR 100,000 for reckless violations, depending on the individual case.
  • In the case of serious, repeated and systematic infringements, the amount of the fine can even be up to EUR 5 million or up to 10 percent of the previous year's turnover.

Process flow

You must always send suspicious activity reports to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) electronically via the "goAMLWeb" application program. Submitting a report on the official form by fax is permitted if there is a two-hour disruption to the electronic transmission of a suspicious activity report and in the case of an initial report.

To use "goAML Web", you must first register once:

  • The obligation to register obliged entities for the electronic procedure exists independently of the submission of a suspicious activity report - only when the FIU's new information network goes live, but no later than 01.01. 2024.
  • To register, select the "Register" tab, enter the required information in the input fields, upload the necessary documents and click on the "Submit registration" button.
  • The registration is then checked by the FIU and access is activated. You will be informed about all steps of the registration process by e-mail to the address provided during registration.

After submitting a suspicious activity report, you may not initially carry out the underlying transaction. Once a report has been sent, a related transaction may only be carried out at the earliest when

  • the FIU or the public prosecutor's office have given their consent or
  • the third working day has elapsed since you sent the SAR without the FIU or the public prosecutor's office having issued a prohibition.

Requirements

If you have indications that assets are of illegal origin or if assets are possibly connected with terrorist financing or if a contractual partner has not disclosed to you whether he is acting on behalf of a beneficial owner, you are obliged to report these facts to the FIU immediately.

Which documents are required?

  • Verification document (e.g. copy of identity card or passport)
  • Depending on the type of obligated party, further documents may be required:
  • Verification for legal entities/partnerships: written confirmation of the identity of the person with primary responsibility to be registered by the body authorized to represent them
  • Verification for obliged entities with money laundering officers: digital registration application and certificate of appointment
  • Verification for natural persons: digital registration application with notarized signature

What are the fees?

There are no costs for you.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

If you suspect money laundering or terrorist financing, you must immediately send a suspicious activity report to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

Processing duration

As a rule, it takes 1 to 2 working days to check your registration application for goAML Web.

The time taken to check your application may vary. You will not receive any direct feedback.

Applications / forms

  • Forms: yes
  • Online procedure possible: yes
  • Written form required: no
  • Personal appearance required: no

Appeal

If the FIU has indications that a transaction is related to money laundering or terrorist financing, it can prohibit the transaction from being carried out (immediate measure). As this is an administrative act, you can appeal against the order.

Further information on money laundering prevention, suspected cases and reporting obligations on the Customs Administration website

Technically approved by

Federal Ministry of Finance

Professionally released on

06.04.2021

Author

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

competent Bodies


Generalzolldirektion (GZD), Zentralstelle für Finanztransaktionsuntersuchungen (FIU)
Postal address: Post Office Box 85 05 55, 51030 Köln, Stadt
Timetable
Telephone: +49 351 44834556
Fax: +49 228303 98539

Data protection information


Landesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz Niedersachsen
Address: Prinzenstraße 5, 30159 Hannover
Timetable
Telephone: +49 511 12045-00
Fax: +49 511 12045-99

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