Russian interagency delegation headed by the Director of Rosfinmonitoring Yu. Chikhanchin took part in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Plenary meeting on 18-23 February, 2018, in Paris.
Similarly to the Buenos Aires Plenary in November 2017, one of the main issues of the agenda was the continued discussion on the interpretation of the FATF standards for countering financing of weapons of mass destruction (CFWMD). After contentious debates the paragraphs beyond the provisions of the non-proliferation UNSC Resolutions and the FATF Recommendations were deleted.
Counter-terrorism efforts remained among the task force priorities. The Plenary adopted a new operational plan of action for countering the financing of terrorism (CFT). One of the plan’s points will be permanent on the FATF plenary meetings’ agenda. It concerns the Russian initiative on identification of sources and channels of ISIL financing with account for the previously approved extension of its scope by including information on Al-Qaeda and individuals, groups and terrorist organizations linked to it. In the future a separate public statement will be regularly released. It will regard countries that make insufficient efforts to combat the financing of terrorism.
The interim results of the project launched at the suggestion of Russia to study the best CFT strategies.
The implementation of the initiative will facilitate technical assistance to countries that do not have experience in this field.
Within the large-scale work to identify and eliminate the international laundering infrastructure, the outcomes of the next stage of the Russian study into the activities of professional "gray" networks and the generated cross-border financial flows were announced.
The mutual evaluation report of Iceland was discussed. As a result the country was put on the enhanced monitoring and must report annually to the Plenary.
Reports on progress of Spain and Norway were adopted. Both countries had significantly improved their ratings.
Brazil which is the only FATF country with non-terminated previous round of evaluation demonstrated a possibility to quit the monitoring process in 2018.
Lists of jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies in their national AML/CFT systems were updated.
According to the review, the "black list" remained unchanged (North Korea and Iran), while Iran managed to maintain the status quo for the suspension of countermeasures until June 2018.
Serbia was added to the grey list. At the moment it contains 10 jurisdictions - Vanuatu, Iraq, Yemen, Serbia, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Sri Lanka and Ethiopia, and by June 2018 Pakistan will join after agreeing a specially developed action plan to meet all the requirements under the UN Security Council resolution 1267. Surprisingly, Hungary escaped follow-up and managed to make impressive progress in one year in implementing the recommendations of international experts contained in the evaluation report. Due to the positive results of the FATF on-site mission in Sarajevo in January 2018, Bosnia and Herzegovina was delisted.
The process of granting the observer status to Indonesia continued. In May 2018, a high-level mission will be sent to the country to assess compliance with international standards and the readiness of the state leadership to fulfill FATF obligations, its modalities were agreed.
Negotiations on coordination and cooperation with the FATF President and Secretariat, as well as meetings with representatives of Argentina, Bahrain, China, France, Germany, Hungary, India, the Netherlands, Serbia and the UAE were organized.
The next FATF Plenary meeting is scheduled to take place in Paris in June 2018.