British Columbia notaries
British Columbia notaries public and British Columbia notary corporations must fulfill specific obligations under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) and associated Regulations to help combat money laundering and terrorist financing in Canada. As a British Columbia notary public or a British Columbia notary corporation, you have specific obligations when you engage in, or give instructions on behalf of any individual or entity, for the following activities:
- receiving or paying funds (other than those received or paid as professional fees, disbursements, expenses or bail);
- purchasing or selling securities, real property or business assets or entities; or
- transferring funds or securities by any means.
British Columbia notaries as described above are responsible for providing FINTRAC with certain transaction reports, for implementing a compliance program and for keeping records that may be required for law enforcement investigations. Their obligations under the PCMLTFA and associated Regulations are described below.
If you are an employee of a British Columba notary public or a British Columbia notary corporation, the obligations described further below are the responsibility of your employer, except with respect to reporting suspicious transactions and terrorist property, which is applicable to both you and your employer.
A comprehensive and effective compliance program is the basis of meeting all of your obligations under the PCMLTFA and associated Regulations. During a FINTRAC examination, it is important to demonstrate that the required documentation is in place and that employees, agents, and all others authorized to act on your behalf are well trained and can effectively implement all the elements of your compliance program. A senior officer must approve the compliance program and the compliance officer must have the necessary authority to carry out the requirements of the program. You must:
- Appoint a compliance officer responsible for the implementation and oversight of the compliance program;
- Develop and apply written compliance policies and procedures that are kept up to date and approved by a senior officer;
- Apply and document a risk assessment, including mitigation measures and strategies;
- Develop and maintain a written training program for employees, agents, and others authorized to act on your behalf; and
- Review your compliance program (policies and procedures, risk assessment and training program) every two years for the purpose of testing its effectiveness.
See Compliance program requirements, the Risk-based approach guide and the Risk-based approach workbook for British Columbia notaries for more information on these obligations.
Know your client
As a British Columbia notary you must verify the identity of clients for certain activities and transactions according to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Regulations (PCMLTFR). Part of knowing your client includes following the methods to identify clients, as well as conducting certain additional activities as listed below.
- When to identity individuals and confirm the existence of entities – British Columbia notaries;
- Methods to identify individuals and confirm the existence of entities;
- Business relationship requirements;
- Ongoing monitoring requirements; and
- Third party determination requirements.
British Columbia notaries are required to complete reports about certain transactions and property and submit them to FINTRAC. Financial transaction reports are critical to FINTRAC’s ability to analyze transactions in order to develop financial intelligence that is disclosed to law enforcement and partner agencies. Therefore, the quality of your reporting will be reviewed by FINTRAC in examinations.
Suspicious transactions: You must submit a suspicious transaction report (STR) as soon as practicable after completing the measures required to establish reasonable grounds to suspect that a transaction is related to the commission or the attempted commission of a money laundering/terrorist activity financing offence. The following STR guidance pieces explain how to identify and report suspicious transactions and should be read together. See What is a suspicious transaction report?, Reporting suspicious transactions to FINTRAC and Money laundering and terrorist financing indicators - British Columbia notaries.
Terrorist property: When you know that property in your possession or under your control is owned, controlled by or on behalf of a terrorist or a terrorist group, you must submit a report without delay. You must also submit a report to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). See Guideline 5: Submitting Terrorist Property Reports.
Large cash transactions: When you receive $10,000 CAD or more in cash (including taxes or other fees) either in a single transaction or in multiple transactions within a 24-hour period, you must submit a report within 15 calendar days. See Guideline 7A: Submitting Large Cash Transaction Reports to FINTRAC electronically and Guideline 7B: Submitting Large Cash Transaction Reports to FINTRAC by paper.
If you have a computer and an internet connection, you must submit all reports to FINTRAC electronically, except Terrorist Property reports, which can only be submitted on paper.
You are responsible for keeping certain transaction and client identification records. These records are to be kept in such a way that they can be provided to FINTRAC within 30 days if required to do so. See Record keeping for British Columbia notaries for details.
Penalties for non-compliance
Non-compliance with Part 1 or 1.1 of the PCMLTFA may result in criminal or administrative monetary penalties.
FINTRAC has created a Guidance glossary that defines certain terms used throughout its guidance documents.
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