Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have a reporting obligation?

Pursuant to Article 1 LWTF, the FIU identifies the following service providers which have a reporting obligation:

  • Accountants
  • Lawyers and legal advisors
  • Administration offices
  • Banks
  • Tax advisors
  • Investment institutions
  • Casinos and online casinos
  • Factoring companies
  • Monetary transaction companies
  • Dealers of items of a large value
  • Collection agencies
  • Life insurance companies or agencies
  • Real estate agents
  • Civil-law notaries
  • Pawn shops | compra y venta (‘Buy and Sell’)
  • Trust service providers
The above list is not exhaustive. You (also) have a reporting obligation in the event that you perform one or more of the services below.

Financial service providers

  • Accepting deposits and other repayable funds from the public;
  • Lending;
  • Financial leasing, with the exception of consumer-related leasing;
  • Transferring funds or monetary values or having them transferred;
  • Issuing and managing payment methods besides cash, which in any case include credit cards, debit cards, checks, traveler’s checks, bank drafts, money orders and electronic funds;
  • Providing financial guarantees and commitments;
  • Trading in financial market instruments, foreign currency, shares, currency, interest and index instruments, transferable securities and futures instruments.
  • Participating in the issue of securities and the provision of financial services in that context;
  • Managing individual and group investment portfolios;
  • Taking charge of and administrating cash or liquid securities;
  • Any other investment, administration or management of funds or monies on behalf of third parties;
  • The conclusion, redemption and payment, as well as the provision of mediation when concluding, redeeming and paying out a life insurance contract, in the sense of Article 1 of the State Ordinance on the Supervision of the Insurance Industry (AB 2000, no. 82), and other investment-related insurance products;
  • Exchanging cash and foreign currency;

Non-financial service providers

  • Any private individual, legal entity, company or partnership that acts as a lawyer, civil-law notary, practicing notary, tax advisor or in the performance of a similar legal profession or company;
  • Any private individual, legal entity, company or partnership that acts as an external registered accountant, external accountant administration consultant or similar professional;
  • Any private individual, legal entity or company which acts professionally or commercially as an intermediary in the procurement or sale of real estate, vessels, ships, airplanes, works of art, antiques and the rights to which they are subject;
  • Any private individual, legal entity or company which trades professionally or commercially in precious metals, gems and jewels;
  • Casinos in the sense of Article 1, first paragraph of the State Ordinance on Games of Chance (AB 1990, no. GT 44), as well as online casinos;
  • A trust service provider in the sense of Article 1 of the State Ordinance on the Supervision of Trust Service Providers (AB 2009, no. 13);

Do I need to register with the FIU?

 Yes, if you are an unregistered service provider with duty of disclosure, you must register with the FIU. To do so, please use the -> Registration form

How can I report an unusual transaction?

You can read the full reporting procedure here -> Go to reporting procedure.

When is a transaction considered unusual?

Various indicators have been drafted to determine when a transaction is considered unusual. Indicators describe the circumstances in which money laundering and/or terrorist financing may exist. The unusual nature of a transaction is determined using these indicators. You can find the list of indicators under the ‘Legislation’ heading in the menu.

What is the difference between an objective indicator and a subjective indicator?

Reporting is mandatory for objective indicators. Reporting is mandatory for subjective indicators if the service provider is of the opinion that the scenario described in the indicator applies.

Do proposed transactions also have to be reported?

Proposed transactions must also be reported. A proposed transaction is a transaction that has not been completed or which has not (yet) been completed in full but of which the client’s intention (volition) has been expressed to the service provider. Neither the reason for not completing or not (yet) fully completing the transaction, nor the party (client or service provider) which aborts the transaction, matters.

What are the minimum details which a report must contain?

A report must contain a minimum of the following details: a. the identity of the client; b. the type and number of the client’s ID; c. the nature, time and place of the transaction; d. the scope, destination and origin of the funds, securities, precious metals or other assets involved in a transaction; e. the circumstances forming the basis for classifying a transaction as unusual; f. in the case of transactions involving items of large value, a description of the relevant item of large value; g. The indicator or indicators forming the basis for classifying the transaction as unusual. 3. A State Decree containing general measures may designate other details which must be provided with a report.

If certain details on a subject in question are missing, does the transaction need to be reported?

Yes, the transaction must be reported. You must explain the reason for the absence of these details in the description of the circumstances contained in the report.

Which amount should be recorded in the report in the case of cashless transactions?

In the case of cashless transactions the amount ‘in accordance with the original assignment’ from the client must be recorded in the report.

What are the reasons for refusing a (paper) report?

  • There is a duplicate report
  • The amount is below the report limit
  • The selected indicator is incorrect
  • Subject is missing
  • Subject information is incorrect
  • Role of the subject is missing

What are the reasons for refusing a (digital) report?

  • There is a duplicate report
  • The bank account number is missing
  • The amount is incorrect
  • The amount is below the report limit
  • The Appendix is missing
  • The date of birth is incorrect
  • ID information is incorrect
  • The selected indicator is incorrect
  • The Chamber of Commerce number is incorrect
  • Subject is missing •Subject information is incorrect
  • Role of the subject is missing
  • Transaction stage is incorrect

In what language can I file a report?

You can only file a report in Dutch or in English.

Within which timeframe must a proposed or completed transaction be reported?

Complete or proposed unusual transactions must be reported to the FIU as soon as the unusual nature of the transaction becomes known.

What are the reporting rules?

As a service provider, you are obligated to immediately report proposed and completed unusual transactions which are/may be related to money laundering and/or terrorist financing. If you report an unusual transaction, you must carefully check that all of the fields in the (digital) report form have been filled in correctly. The client cannot be told that a report will be or has been filed (prohibition on tipping-off).

How does reporting an unusual transaction affect you?

Based on the LWTF, you will receive a criminal and civil indemnification after reporting an unusual transaction. That way, unusual transactions can be reported without you being held accountable for them as a service provider. For example, you will not be classified as an accessory to money laundering and/or terrorist financing. Nor will you be liable for any damages that may result from your report. Criminal indemnification Criminal indemnification entails that the information you provide in the context of your report cannot be used for the purpose of a tracing or criminal investigation against you or the organization you work for. Civil indemnification Civil indemnification means that you or the organization you work for cannot be held civilly liable for the damage that another person (the client or a third party) suffers as a result of the report, unless it can be plausibly demonstrated that you should not, in reasonableness, have proceeded with the report.

May I inform my client of a (proposed) report to the FIU?

No, service providers which file a report or which will do so or which provide further details or information are obligated to keep this confidential (prohibition on tipping off).

May I exchange data or intelligence with another reporting entity?

 Yes, even though article 49 of the LWTF formulates a general obligation of confidentiality, it additionally offers the opportunity for the exchange of data and intelligence between reporting entities. In order to carry out a customer due diligence and reporting of unusual transactions it is in some cases necessary that you receive data or intelligence from another reporting entity. This data or intelligence may not be used in a different manner other than for the purpose for which it was provided. The obligation of confidentiality does not expire, but shall pass to the receiver. This means that the duty of confidentiality continues to rest on the data or intelligence. This guarantees the reporting entity which provides the data or intelligence that it will not be used in a different manner other than for carrying out a customer due diligence and reporting of unusual transactions. You should check with other reporting entities to make arrangements for the exchange of missing data or information. 

What are the consequences of neglecting to report?

If you neglect to report an unusual transaction, you are guilty or violating the LWTF. If a report is not filed, the FIU may report this to the Supervisory Authority (CBA). The Supervisory Authority has the legal authority to give you an instruction or impose a fine or administrative penalty on you if you fail to comply with your duty of disclosure. If there is any deliberate evasion of the duty of disclosure, then you will be seen as guilty of an economic offence (felony). In such cases the Supervisory Authority is authorized to file a report with the District Attorney. You may be prosecuted under criminal law.

What constitutes a suspicious transaction?

The FIU acts as a buffer between the service providers on the one hand and the police/investigation services and the Ministry of Justice on the other. This buffer function contributes to both protecting the privacy of the service provider’s client and investigative interests. Unusual transactions can be declared suspicious in three ways: 1. Due to the FIU’s own investigation, based on information from various registers 2. By matching information from an ongoing investigation with unusual transactions 3. Due to information from a survey by an FIU abroad Only ‘suspicious’ transactions are reported to the police/investigation services and the Ministry of Justice.

When reporting to the FIU, should I report transactions which have already been reported to the police or the Ministry of Justice as objective or subjective transactions?

Based on the new indicators (as of 1 April 2013), these transactions must be reported under the objective indicators. This represents a change from the old situation in which these transactions had to be reported as subjective.

Should I file a report if another service provider has already reported the same transaction?

Yes, the fact that another service provider has already reported the transaction in question does not relieve you from your own duty of disclosure or your legal obligations.

Do interbank transactions fall under the scope of the duty of disclosure?

Interbank transactions do not fall under the scope of the duty of disclosure, as these transactions are not carried out by order or on behalf of one of the bank’s clients but rather on behalf of the bank itself.

Do transactions for the benefit of or at the expense of the government need to be reported?

No, transactions on behalf of or at the expense of the government are exempt from the duty of disclosure under the objective indicator, as the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing is extremely low. However, exempt transactions can always be reported subjectively if you suspect money laundering and/or terrorist financing.

What is the definition of 'on behalf of' or 'at the expense of' the government?

On behalf of: a subject carries out a transaction on behalf of the government (by order of the government). At the expense of: the government carries at a transaction at its own expense.

What is the definition of a set of actions?

A transaction may comprise 1 or more actions. If the transactions can be related to one another in any way, then they constitute a set of actions. These are actions which give cause to assume that they are related. The binding element could be any number of things. A number of binding elements are listed below (this list is not exhaustive): 1. Time (for example, a number of actions in quick succession); 2. Property (for example, the purchase of a property in shares); 3. Modus operandi (for example, different persons carry out over-the-counter transactions in respect of the same subject and/or address at the same place at the same time). The service provider should be aware of actions by the client which are related to one another and which may present cause to assume that they are connected to money laundering or terrorist financing.

What is the definition of money laundering?

Performing actions (or having actions carried out) which appear to give capital gains concealed from the law a legal origin. The goal of money laundering is to conceal the origin of the funds. In general, there are three stages to money laundering: 1.Placement/introduction: the capital benefit is initially introduced into the financial circuit (usual in the form of cash funds). 2.Concealment/circulation: a succession of sometimes complex financial transactions with the goal of concealing the origin of the capital. 3.Integration/investment: the capital is invested in the upperworld, for example by purchasing a car, boat or other property.

What is the definition of terrorism (terrorist financing)?

Terrorism Terrorism is defined as pursuing goals or carrying out actions with the intention of severely intimidating the population or a portion of the population of a country or illegitimately forcing a government or international organization to do something, not to do something or to tolerate something or to severely disrupt or destroy the fundamental politics, constitutional, economic or social structures of a country or an international organization. By and large, this takes place by (the threat of) violence against human life. Terrorist Financing Terrorist financing is an umbrella term for various phenomena whose ultimate goal is to facilitate terrorist activities in the material sense. This involves obtaining, providing, relocating and using funds or other valuable resources which can also be converted into funds, by persons who carry out terrorist activities or by those who support this.