AUSTRAC Reporting: Everything You Need to Know

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, more commonly known as AUSTRAC Reporting, is the country’s financial intelligence system and primary financial regulator. The main purpose of this is to detect and prevent businesses from committing financial crimes. A comprehensive AUSTRAC Reporting is necessary to fulfill these responsibilities. 

Every year, most businesses must submit a detailed report to AUSTRAC to check if they comply with the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act). If your company needs to submit the report, here are the details you need to know: 

Requirements for AUSTRAC Reports 

AUSTRAC received its authority from the Financial Transaction Reports Act 1988 and the AML/CTF Act. Both these regulations stipulate several financial compliance obligations. 

Your business must submit the following points to report the activities: 

  • Reporting threshold: Australian firms doing transactions worth $10,000 or more must develop the Threshold Transaction Reports (TTR) and submit them to AUSTRAC. It is also a critical requirement to get the same transaction with an equal amount in a foreign currency. The TTRs should be handed over to AUSTRAC within ten business days since the transaction took place. 
  • Suspicious matters: Businesses need to present a suspicious matter report (SMR) to AUSTRAC within 72 hours after noticing the suspicious activity. You must submit the information 24 hours if the detected activity is connected to terrorism. 
  • International transfer of funds: You must submit an international funds transfer report (IFTI) if funds are transferred outside Australia. This requirement is necessary no matter how much the amount is or if it is transacted electronically or through a specified remittance agreement. The IFTI should be presented within ten business days of the transaction. 
  • Cross border movement: The Australian parliament amended the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act. The new rules stated that individuals moving physical currency worth $10,000 or more (or an equal amount in foreign currency) in or out of the country must present a cross border movement (CBM) to AUSTRAC within five business days. 

What are AUSTRAC Initiatives?

The office of AUSTRAC works together with financial institutions all over the country to deal with potential criminal tactics and other regulatory changes. 

The latest initiatives implemented by the office reflect the changes in the financial landscape in the country. It includes:

  • Cryptocurrency Exchanges – The Senate Select Committee recommended creating a new licensing method for cryptocurrency exchanges in November 2021. Under the current regulations, the office imposes similar registration requirements on all cryptocurrency transactions like the other financial institutions. In the proposed licensing regime, the government will implement measures to address the gaps in the new regulations. It also aims to boost the consumers’ protection. 
  • De-banking – AUSTRAC released a statement on de-banking due to the closure of the account in October 2021. It centers on increasing the cases of money laundering in the country. Therefore, the office urged banks to boost their risk-management solutions to boost their capacity to handle the transactions of higher-risk clients. 

Submitting the required AUSTRAC Reporting documents will help the country monitor and control businesses and financial institutions from possible financial crimes and other dangerous acts.

If your company has yet to work on a report for the first time, hiring a third-party company that knows the thorough processes of making the AUSTRAC report could be the best choice. 

Final Words

In conclusion, it is evident that AUSTRAC reporting is a vital component of anti-money laundering and terrorist financing efforts. By knowing what is required and understanding the process, organizations can ensure they are compliant with the law and protect their customers and themselves from financial crime.

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