New Money Laundering Law 19.574 and the impact on doing business in Uruguay
Article 2 minute read

New Money Laundering Law 19.574 and the impact on doing business in Uruguay

10 May 2018

The Uruguayan Parliament has passed a new money laundering law that will help to regulate the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism in the country.

The new law updates the anti-money laundering and terrorism financing regime, and includes new obligations for certain professionals and organizations.

On 10 January 2018, Law No. 19,574 was approved by the Uruguay’s Parliament which puts all the rules and information about anti money laundering into one document including the consequences of not complying with the law. The law contains the objectives of the Anti- Money Laundering (AML) and Financing of Terrorism Commission (FTC), supervised by the Government and composed by the Ministers, and the Presidency Secretary. The FTC will work together with the AML unit of the Central Bank of Uruguay.

Who is affected by the new money laundering law in Uruguay?

This new law will affect any person or company that is regulated by the Central Bank of Uruguay (CBU). The law divides the obligated parties into two categories, 1) financial fellows and 2) non-financial fellows.

Financial fellows are regulated by the Central Bank and include:

  • Banks
  • Trustees
  • Money Exchange Companies
  • Stock Exchanges
  • Pension Funds
  • Investment Fund Administrators
  • Investment Advisors

The non-financial fellows are the newly obligated party and include:

  • Lawyers when they act on behalf of their clients
  • Free Zone companies
  • Political Parties
  • Foundations
  • Any non-profit organization
  • Public Accountants when they act as an independent advisor
  • Trusts
  • Any corporate services provider
  • Public Notary

In Uruguay, any private person could be a nonprofessional trustee. They could act as trustee in private trust which are not regulated by the CBU. This could cause money laundering to occur in the past but now with this law, the situation will change since they will have to adhere to the new AML policies.

This law will help all the regulated companies to collect information about their clients or the beneficial owners of the client. The people affected by this law will have to verify the origination of funds, and analyse their clients and report any suspicious activity to the Central Bank.

Consequences of non-compliance

The CBU will be responsible for the consequences for people or companies that do not adhere to following Law No. 19,574. There could be warnings, hefty fines or the revocation of specific licences for not reporting the information of their clients.

Get expert help

Even prior to this law being passed, TMF Group has always helped clients to be compliant with the highest AML standards whether or not it is specifically regulated in the jurisdiction. But now that this law is active in Uruguay, we can provide services to help lawyers and non-financial clients understand and comply to these new rules and regulations.

TMF Uruguay is a financial trust regulated by the Central Bank of Uruguay, with extensive experience in AML law compliance. Talk to us and let us help you and your business. 

Written by

Martin Improta

Former Country Leader Paraguay & Uruguay

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