Belgian Anti-Money Laundering Act

Belgian flag on roof of royal palace in Brussels
Luiza Giannelli / Unsplash

Since I am located in Belgium, this is -for a change- an article purely focused on Belgian legislation...

The Belgian Anti-Money Laundering Act, or "Belgian AML Act", entered into force on Monday 21 February 2021. It is Belgium's next step in regulating crypto-service providers, in line with the EU's 5th AML Directive.

It's not necessarily directly related to (new or additional) security requirements, but as you can imagine Know-Your-Customer (KYC ) & Know-Your-Transaction (KYT) requirements bring heavy operational burdens. 😕

Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) Logo

Summary of changes:

  • It provides clear definitions of crypto-service providers;
  • Crypto exchanges & custodial wallet providers active in Belgium are in scope of the AML requirements;
  • Crypto-service providers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) are prohibited from providing services in Belgium;
  • Crypto-service providers should register with the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA);
  • Sanctions!

For more information: Belgium flexes its AML and regulatory muscle on crypto-service providers (Linklaters) 

Apparently, large centralized exchanges such as Binance, Kraken etc. are still excluded from this Belgian legislation since they are not based in Belgium, but are based inside of the EEA... 🙈 (which does not imply they do not have to follow any AML rules, it is just that they need to comply with the European and local AML rules from the EU country they operate from)

Photo by Luiza Giannelli on Unsplash