AML in Georgia

Georgia’s significance in the global effort to combat money laundering and terrorist financing cannot be overstated. Through its agreements with the European Union and Moneyval, Georgia assumes the crucial responsibility of identifying and thwarting instances of money laundering and terrorist financing. Moneyval ensures adherence to the rigorous standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which is an essential measure for countries to evaluate the potential risks associated with money laundering and terrorism financing.

Georgia has taken notable strides in its battle against illicit financial activities and has achieved conformity with international anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. In 2003, the Financial Monitoring Service of Georgia was established as a means to combat financial crimes, operating under the legal framework provided by the “On Facilitating the Prevention of Illicit Income Legalization” law in Georgia. The primary objective of the Financial Monitoring Service of Georgia is to proactively prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

In 2019, the Georgian Parliament passed the Law on Facilitating the Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism, solidifying the country’s commitment to international AML compliance. This law empowers the Financial Monitoring Service to effectively supervise various financial entities within the nation, including banks, microfinance institutions, foreign exchange offices, investment companies, and all other relevant financial institutions.

The publication of a report by the Financial Monitoring Service of Georgia sheds light on the degree of risk associated with money laundering and terrorist financing across various sectors. All sectors identified as carrying inherent risks are obligated to adhere to anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. Organizations operating within these sectors must implement robust AML controls to safeguard themselves against the perils of financial crime. The Financial Monitoring Service of Georgia assumes the responsibility of overseeing and monitoring these organizations. Failure to meet the AML requirements results in penalties for non-compliant entities.

Under the stipulations outlined in the law of Georgia pertaining to the prevention of illicit income legalization, organizations are obliged to establish and uphold protocols for managing transactions that raise suspicions. Within the risk-bearing landscape of Georgia, organizations bear the responsibility of identifying funds sourced from unlawful activities or involved in money laundering and promptly reporting any such suspicious activities to the appropriate authorities. Risk-bearing organizations are required to develop an anti-money laundering (AML) program tailored to their specific risk levels, commencing with thorough checks during the customer onboarding process. Subsequently, organizations must engage in regular customer monitoring and exercise ongoing scrutiny over customer transactions.