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Government of Jamaica

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Government of Jamaica

JAMAICA LARGELY COMPLETES ITS ACTION PLAN AGREED WITH FATF

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

Ministry of Finance and the Public Service

Audit Committee Performance Evaluation guideline (ACPE tool)

­­­­­­­­­­­Kingston, Jamaica: Friday, February 23, 2024

The Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”) FATF today at its February 2024 Plenary meeting in Paris, approved for their America’s Joint Group to conduct an on-site visit to Jamaica to assess the effectiveness and sustainability of the measures the country has implemented to address its strategic AML/CFT deficiencies outlined in the 13-point action plan agreed with the FATF in February 2020.

FATF’s decision to approve the on-site visit was predicated on Jamaica largely completing its action plan and in accomplishing this requirement the country:

  • completed a comprehensive national risk assessment (“NRA”) to include among other things a timebound strategic action plan to address the identified risks on a prioritised basis;
  • enacted several pieces of legislation including to bring the micro credit and the Trust and Corporate Services Providers (“TCSP”s) sectors under the AML/CFT framework as well as for the designation and oversight of those charities that are vulnerable to AML/CFT abuse (protected charities);
  • successfully argued our case to the Privy Council to have lawyers be obliged entities under AML/CFT laws including implementing risk-based supervision of the sector;
  • Successfully implemented risk-based AML/CFT supervision for micro credit service providers and all the DNFBP sectors to include lawyers, TCSP service providers, real estate dealers, accountants and the gaming sector;
  • Significantly enhanced the quality and effectiveness of collaboration and cooperation among law enforcement agencies including the FID and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution, underpinned and facilitated by technology driven information management systems; and importantly
  • enacted legislation to align our framework for the Transparency and Beneficial Ownership of Legal Persons with that of Recommendation 24 as revised by FATF in February 2023.  We also successfully implemented the amended Companies Act and in so doing to date the Companies Office has:
  • struck off the register, several companies who after the mandatory notice periods had still not provided Beneficial Ownership (“BO”) information and initiated prosecution against a number of high-risk companies for the non-provision of annual returns;
  • developed and significantly populated a modern BO registry with the relevant BO information;
  • continued to conduct extensive training and outreach to stakeholders;
  • Continued to inspect company registers and issue directives to those companies with  identified gaps to address those gaps within a specified timeline;
  • granted direct access to the BO registry to all competent authorities, law enforcement bodies; government agencies in the course of procurement and financial institutions (with customer consent) when establishing relationships or conducting one-off transactions, other government agencies such as the Independent Integrity Commission and the Commissioner of Taxes. As a result of these legislative changes, over the period Jamaica applied to the CFATF for rerating of the impacted Recommendations. Our 4th round mutual evaluation report published in 2017, reflected that Jamaica was compliant or largely compliant with 17 of the 40 FATF Recommendations.

As of today, Jamaica is compliant or largely compliant with 37 of those Recommendations. Significantly, today Jamaica is fully compliant with both Recommendations 24 and 25 which address the transparency and beneficial ownership of legal persons and arrangements, a very rare achievement within the global network of countries.   With regards to the three Recommendations with which we are partially compliant, Jamaica has already taken important steps towards compliance.  As a reminder, these Recommendations are: Recommendation 7–Targeted Financial Sanctions related to Proliferation; Recommendation 8–Non-profit Organisations (NPOs) and Recommendation15– New Technologies.

Minister Clarke noted, “Today’s development is further evidence of the fact that whatever Jamaica focuses on, Jamaica can achieve. We have made considerable progress over the past few years in improving Jamaica’s AML/CFT framework through focus, determination and  collaborative effort with support from our bilateral and multilateral partners.”

Thanks, must be given to the America’s Joint Group of the FATF ICRG, and The Executive Director of the CFAFT and her staff for their review and support. As well as the hard-working members of the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee (“NAMLC”) chaired by Jamaica’s Prime Contact to CFATF, former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, Maurene Simms and includes public officers from the MOFPS, BOJ, FSC, FID, JCA, TAJ, COJ, DCFS, DPP, MFAFT, MNS, MOJ, JCF, PICA, BGLC, TAJ, PAB, GLC, REB, and supported by the AGC, and OPC.

Team Jamaica is ready and enthusiastic to showcase to the Americas Joint Group, the success and growth of the various initiatives the country has implemented, as the final step in the process for de-listing.

These initiatives have been carefully nurtured on a solid and sustainable foundation.   The FATF will have its next Plenary in June 2024 and I look forward to their press release at the end of that Plenary, while we continue to steadfastly build on the solid foundations we have laid.

-end-

For further information contact: 

Corporate Communication & Public Relations Branch

Ministry of Finance and the Public Service

30 National Heroes Circle

Kingston 4

Tel: (876) 932-4656/4660/4655

Email:  Shelly-Ann.Weeks@mof.gov.jm; Shakiel.Rochester-Shorter@mof.gov.jm

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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