Record keeping requirements for departments and agents of the Crown


March 2021

This guidance comes into effect on June 1, 2021.

Departments and agents of the Crown have record keeping requirements under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) and associated Regulations.

This guidance will only describe the record keeping requirements of departments and agents of the Crown that issue, sell or redeem money orders in the course of providing financial services to the public.Footnote 1

If you are a department or an agent of the Crown that accepts deposit liabilities in the course of providing financial services to the public, your requirements can be found on the financial entities sector page.Footnote 2

If you are a department or agent of the Crown that sells precious metals in the amount of $10,000 or more in a single transaction, your requirements can be found on the dealers in precious metals and precious stones sector page.Footnote 3

This guidance outlines certain record keeping requirements for departments or agent of the Crown. You have additional record keeping requirements that are detailed in the following guidance:

This guidance answers the following questions:

  1. What records must I keep and what must they contain?
  2. What are my responsibilities when maintaining records?
  3. What are the exceptions to my record keeping obligations?

**Note: Throughout this guidance, all references to dollar amounts (such as $10,000) are in Canadian dollars.

1. What records must I keep and what must they contain?

You must keep the following records:

  1. Reports — a copy of every report sent to FINTRAC
    • Suspicious Transaction Reports
    • Terrorist Property Reports
    • Large Cash Transaction Reports
    • Large Virtual Currency Transaction Reports
  2. Large cash transaction records
  3. Large virtual currency transaction records
  4. Records for transactions of $3,000 or more
  5. Information records

**Note: When you are required to keep records about clients, you should be as descriptive as possible. Being descriptive when recording the nature of the principal business or occupation of a client will help determine whether a transaction or activity is consistent with what would be expected for that client. For example, when the client's occupation is "manager", the record should reflect the area of management, such as "hotel reservations manager" or "retail clothing store manager". When an entity's principal business area is "sales", the record should specify the type of sales, such as "pharmaceutical sales" or "retail sales".

a. Reports — a copy of every report sent to FINTRAC

You must keep a copy of every report that you submit to FINTRAC as a record.

Suspicious Transaction Reports

When you submit a Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) to FINTRAC, you must keep a copy of it.Footnote 4

Retention: At least five years after the day the STR was submitted.Footnote 5

Terrorist Property Reports

When you submit a Terrorist Property Report (TPR) to FINTRAC, you must keep a copy of it.Footnote 6

Retention: At least five years after the day the TPR was submitted.Footnote 7

Large Cash Transaction Reports

When you submit a Large Cash Transaction Report (LCTR) to FINTRAC, you must keep a copy of it.Footnote 8

Retention: At least five years from the date the LCTR was created.Footnote 9

Large Virtual Currency Transaction Reports

When you submit a Large Virtual Currency Transaction Report (LVCTR) to FINTRAC, you must keep a copy of it.Footnote 10

Retention: At least five years from the date the LVCTR was created.Footnote 11

b. Large cash transaction records

You must keep a large cash transaction record when you receive $10,000 or more in cash.Footnote 12

If you authorize a person or an entity to receive funds on your behalf, and that person or entity receives $10,000 or more in cash in accordance with the authorization, you are deemed to have received the amount when it is received by the person or entity, and you must keep a large cash transaction record.Footnote 13

**Note: This obligation is subject to the 24-hour rule.Footnote 14

A large cash transaction record must include:Footnote 15

Retention: At least five years from the date the large cash transaction record was created.Footnote 16

c. Large virtual currency transaction records

You must keep a large virtual currency (VC) transaction record when you receive VC in an amount equivalent to $10,000 or more.Footnote 17

If you authorize a person or entity to receive VC on your behalf, and that person or entity receives VC in an amount equivalent to $10,000 or more in accordance with the authorization, you are deemed to have received VC when it is received by the person or entity, and you must keep a large VC transaction record.Footnote 18

**Note: This obligation is subject to the 24-hour rule.Footnote 19

A large VC transaction record must include:Footnote 20

Retention: At least five years from the date the large virtual currency transaction record was created.Footnote 21

d. Records for transactions of $3,000 or more

Issuing or selling money orders

When you receive $3,000 or more in relation to issuing or selling one or more money orders that total $3,000 or more, you must record:Footnote 22

Redeeming money orders

When you redeem one or more money orders that total $3,000 or more at the request of a person or entity, you must record:Footnote 23

Retention: At least five years from the date the record for a transaction of $3000 or more was created.Footnote 24

e. Information records

If the client is a corporation or other entity, you must keep an information record, which is a record of the entity's name and address, as well as the nature of its principal business.Footnote 25

If the information record is kept on a client that is a corporation, you also need to keep a copy of the part of the official corporate records that contains any provision relating to the power to bind the corporation regarding the transaction.Footnote 26 This could be found in, for example:

Retention: At least five years from the day the last business transaction was conducted.Footnote 27

2. What are my responsibilities when maintaining records?

In order to comply with your record keeping requirements, you must keep records in such a manner that they can be provided to FINTRAC within 30 days of a request.Footnote 28 The records may also be requested through a judicial order by law enforcement to support an investigation of money laundering or terrorist activity financing. A record (or a copy) may be kept in a machine-readable or electronic form, so long as a paper copy can easily be produced.Footnote 29

Employees who keep records for you are not required to keep them after their employment ends. The same is true for persons in a contractual relationship with you, when the contractual relationship ends, they no longer have to keep records for you.Footnote 30 You have to obtain and keep the records that were kept for you by any employee or a contractor before the end of the person's employment or contract.

There may be situations where you are required to keep records for purposes other than complying with your obligations under the PCMLTFA. For example, a federal or provincial regulator may require you to keep records in addition to those described in this guidance. If this is the case, you must still meet the requirements described in this guidance. For example, the retention period for your records can be longer than what is described, but it cannot be shorter.

3. What are the exceptions to my record keeping obligations?

If you are required to keep a record with information that is readily available in other records, you do not have to record the information again.Footnote 31

For example, when you keep a copy of a Large Cash Transaction Report (LCTR), you may choose to use this as your large cash transaction record for the same transaction, so long as all of the information that would otherwise be kept in the large cash transaction record is captured within the report. All requirements related to keeping a large cash transaction record would still apply, such as verifying client identity.

Financial entities, public bodies and very large corporations or trusts

If you receive $3,000 or more from a client that is a financial entity (FE) or a person who is acting on behalf of a client that is a financial entity for the issuance or sale of one or more money orders, you do not have to keep a record of the transaction.Footnote 32

You do not have to keep a large cash transaction record or a large VC transaction record if the cash or VC is received from a client that is a financial entity or a public body, or from a person who is acting on behalf of a client that is a financial entity or public body.Footnote 33

You do not have to keep records for transactions of $3,000 or more nor information records for:Footnote 34

Virtual currency

When you receive VC as compensation for the validation of a transaction that is recorded in a distributed ledger or when you receive a nominal amount of VC for the sole purpose of validating a different transaction or a transfer of information, you do not need to keep a large VC transaction record.Footnote 35

Date Modified: