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Frequently asked questions

What is money laundering?

The goal of most criminal acts is to generate a profit. To enjoy their ill-gotten gains, criminals commonly seek to disguise the illegal source of those profits. Money laundering is the processing of criminal profits to disguise their illegal origin.

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What is terrorism financing?

The term 'terrorism financing' includes the financing of terrorist acts, and of terrorists and terrorist organisations. The financing of terrorism may include the provision of any kind of asset in any form, including but not limited to—bank credits, travellers cheques, bank cheques, money orders, shares, securities, bonds, drafts, and letters of credit.

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Who does the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 apply to?

The Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act) imposes obligations on businesses that are regulated under the AML/CTF Act. Regulated businesses include those that provide financial, gambling, remittance and bullion services.

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Why do I have to provide identification?

When regulated businesses are providing a 'designated service' they may ask their customers to provide information about their identity. Designated services include, but are not limited to, —opening a bank account, obtaining a loan, buying shares or gambling at casinos, race tracks or gaming machines.

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What happens if I do not have identification?

A business may not be able to provide the service you require if you are unable to provide the appropriate level of identification required.

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How will privacy be protected?

Reporting entities and Australian Government agencies who collect personal data are subject to the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act). The Privacy Act covers the collection, use, disclosure, quality and security of personal information.

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What is AUSTRAC?

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) is Australia's AML/CTF regulator and financial intelligence unit.

AUSTRAC oversees compliance with the reporting requirements of the AML/CTF Act and the Financial Transaction Reports Act 1988 by financial service providers, the gambling industry and other regulated businesses.

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Are non-profit organisations at risk of being misused for money laundering or terrorism financing purposes?

Non-profit organisations' financial operations are at risk of being misused by other individuals or organisations to finance or support terrorist activity. The consequences of becoming involved in terrorist financing are significant, and can include loss of reputation, status and donor confidence.

Non-profit organisations are traditionally cash-intensive and regularly transmit funds from supporters between jurisdictions. They often operate under less formal regulation, which exposes the sector to an elevated risk of criminal and terrorist abuse.

As a result of these risks, the Financial Action Task Force has included non-profit organisations in its recommendations to help combat money laundering and terrorism financing.

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What can non-profit organisations do to prevent their operations being misused for terrorism financing?

In consultation with non-profit organisations, the Australian Government has developed guidance material to:

  • build awareness of the risk of being misused for the purpose of terrorism financing
  • outline best practice principles which non-profit organisations can undertake to reduce this risk
  • assist charities to understand and comply with legal requirements in relation to terrorism financing.

This guidance is available under the 'Downloads' section in the side bar on this page.

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has also developed a checklist to assist in protecting charities and non-profit organisations against the risk of terrorism financing. View the checklist on the ACNC website.

Individuals or organisations, including non-profit organisations, may face criminal penalties if they provide financial support to terrorists, terrorist organisations or acts of terrorism. There are two lists maintained by the Australian Government in relation to terrorism financing that non-profit organisations should be aware of.

We maintain a list of terrorist organisations under Division 102 of the Criminal Code Act 1995. View the list of terrorist organisations on the Australian National Security website.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade maintains a consolidated list of persons and entities which are subject to a targeted financial sanction imposed by a resolution of the United Nations Security Council. Penalties apply under the Charter of the United Nations Act 1945 for making resources available to a designated individual or organisation. View the consolidated list on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

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