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Government of Jamaica

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Government of Jamaica

FATF REMOVES JAMAICA FROM GREY LIST

Hon. Nigel Clarke, DPhil., MP
Hon. Nigel Clarke, DPhil., MP

Ministry of Finance and the Public Service

Audit Committee Performance Evaluation guideline (ACPE tool)

Hon. Nigel Clarke, DPhil., MP, (2nd left) Minister of Finance and the Public Service and Lilia Burunciuc (2nd right), World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean Countries sign a loan agreement to support the Jamaica Social Protection for Increased Resilience and Opportunities Project during a visibility ceremony at the ministry on Tuesday, June 11, 2024. Looking on are Collette Roberts Risden (left), Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Social Security and Dr. Jaime Saavedra Chanduvi (right), World Bank Human Development Director for Latin America and the Caribbean Region.

Kingston, Jamaica: Friday, June 28, 2024

The Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, led the Jamaican delegation to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meetings in Singapore this week. On the conclusion of the meetings, Minister Clarke issued the following statement from Singapore:

I am proud to share that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), at its Plenary in Singapore on Friday, June 28, 2024, removed Jamaica from its ‘Grey List’ of countries that are assessed as having strategic deficiencies in their Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (“AML/CFT”) Regimes.

In a statement released by FATF on the conclusion of the Plenary in Singapore, FATF welcomed “Jamaica’s significant progress in improving its AML/CFT regime”.

The FATF’s release further stated that “Jamaica strengthened the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime to meet the commitments in its action plan regarding the strategic deficiencies that FATF identified in February 2020”.

As such, FATF concluded that Jamaica is “no longer subject to FATF’s increased monitoring process.

This is a significant achievement for Jamaica.

In February 2020, Jamaica was placed on the Grey List by FATF. Placement on FATF’s “Grey List” signals to international financial and other institutions to take special care when transacting with entities and individuals from a FATF “Grey Listed” country. This makes transacting with FATF “Grey Listed” countries more expensive. In the aftermath of the FATF “Grey Listing”, the Government of Jamaica (“GOJ”) agreed to a 13-point action plan with FATF to address Jamaica’s AML/CFT deficiencies.

Despite the dislocating onset of the COVID-19 pandemic shortly after we agreed to this action plan, Jamaica delivered on the full range of legislative and regulatory reforms detailed in Jamaica’s action plan and ensured that the implementation of these was effective.

A Joint Group from FATF visited Jamaica six weeks ago for an onsite visit to assess the effectiveness of Jamaica’s implementation of our action plan. The Joint Group confirmed to FATF that Jamaica has a robust and comprehensive understanding of its money laundering and terrorist financing risks and in its report to FATF, the Joint Group highlighted that, in some instances of the implementation of its AML/CFT framework, Jamaica was an example of global good practice.

This has not been an easy process. It has required painstakingly detailed and comprehensive work across the GOJ mostly during the very demanding and difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath.

On behalf of a grateful nation, therefore, I would like to express gratitude to:

  • The Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, who provided me with the space and support to do what was necessary to ensure the achievement of these results and to my Cabinet colleagues for the collaboration and teamwork that made this achievement possible.
  • All the hardworking and committed public servants who serve on the multi-agency National Anti-Money Laundering Committee (“NAMLC”), which is a multi-agency committee that we strengthened in 2021, and which has responsibility for the general oversight of the AML/CFT policy in Jamaica and ensuring adherence to the FATF 40 recommendations, and which I have the privilege of serving as Chairman. Supported by the work of the NAMLC Secretariat, this body has been instrumental in facilitating the coordination required to achieve these results.
  • The FATF, the Caribbean Action Task Force (CFATF) and our bilateral and multilateral partners, without whom Jamaica would have been hard-pressed to achieve these results, and
  • Jamaica’s Prime Contact to CFATF, former Deputy Governor, Maurene Simms and the NAMLAC Secretariat hosted at the BOJ.

As Jamaica prepares to assume the Chair of the CFATF in December 2024, when we host the organization’s 59th Plenary, we pledge our unwavering commitment to ensuring that Jamaica builds on this achievement and maintains up-to-date with the latest global standards in the AML/CFT and Countering Proliferation Financing (“CPF”) spaces. So, while we celebrate this milestone achievement, we have to look ahead to ensure we never again give the global standard setter for AML/CFT/CPF matters reason to grey list Jamaica.

As such, Jamaica, like other countries, is now preparing for the globally applicable 5th round of AML/CFT/CPF mutual evaluations scheduled to take place in mid-2026. Before end of 2025, Jamaica will therefore need to amend or introduce new laws to (i) regulate virtual assets and virtual asset providers (ii) make the registration of non-profit organisations mandatory and (iii) promulgate regulations that address certain targeted financial sanctions related to proliferation.

Back to today. The central lesson from today’s achievement is that it is a demonstration of the fact that whatever Jamaica focusses on, Jamaica can achieve.

-end-

For further information contact:

Ministry of Finance and the Public Service

30 National Heroes Circle

Kingston 4

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The Hon. Nigel Clarke, D.Phil., MP

Minister of Finance and the Public Service
30 National Heroes Circle, Kingston 4
Tel: (876) 932-4656 / 4660 / 4655
Eml: opedjamaica@gmail.com

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