CSSF calls virtual assets service providers active in Luxembourg to prepare for compliance

Following the adoption of the modified Interpretative Note to the Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”) Recommendation 15 on New Technologies, the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (the “CSSF”) has published a press release on 15 January 2020 on virtual assets (“VAs”) and virtual assets service providers (“VASPs”).

The purpose of such CSSF’s press release is to draw attention to the fact that:

the amended FATF Recommendation 15 requires countries to ensure that VASPs are regulated for anti-money laundering and combating terrorist financing (“AML/CFT”) purposes, licensed or registered, and subject to effective systems for monitoring and ensuring compliance with the relevant measures set out in the FATF recommendations;

VASPs fall within the scope of application of AML/CTF obligations pursuant to the provisions of the European Directive 2018/843 on AML/CFT (“AMLD5”);

the Luxembourg legislator is currently working on draft bills of laws aiming at implementing the provisions of AMLD5 as well as the FATF requirements in order notably to extend the scope of application of the law of 12 November 2004 on AML/CFT so as to include VASPS. These bills of law further require VASPS to register with the CSSF subject to compliance with certain conditions.

In light of the above, VASPs active in Luxembourg should prepare for compliance with aforementioned requirements.

While this upcoming regulation will increase compliance burden, it should also provide comfort relating to the activities carried out by such service providers.