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DNFBP FAQ

  1. Introduction
  2. How does application for registration work?
  3. Who has to apply for registration?
  4. Who are not eligible to apply for registration?
  5. The application for registration process
  6. What should I expect after I submit my application?
  7. Confirmation of application for registration
  8. Notification of changes or newly obtained information
  9. Clarification request
  10. Renewal of registration
  11. Cessation of business operations
  12. Penalties
  13. Annual Registration fees
  14. How to contact the FIU

 

 

Introduction

This guide applies to reporting entities who are classified as a Designated Non-Financial Business and Professions (DNFPBs) as defined under Part 1 2. (1) of the Money Laundering & Terrorism (Prevention) (Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions) Regulations, 2014 read along with the Third Schedule of the Money Laundering & Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2008 (MLTPA). These guidelines explain the registration requirements under the DNFBP Regulations, 2014.

How does application for registration work?

Effective February 7, 2014, all relevant businesses as defined in the DNFBP Regulations, 2014 are required to apply for registration with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) (See section 2.1). This means that it is illegal for such reporting entity to operate without being registered with the FIU and the entity is subject to criminal liability.

The applicant must provide information on all significant owners and directors in relation to the reporting entity. This means that a person who, whether alone or acting together with one or more associates must provide identifying information, as well as other specific business information in an application form for registration with the FIU as follows:

(a) owns, whether legally or beneficially, 10% or greater interest in the reporting entity or its parent;
(b) has the power, directly or indirectly, to exercise or control the exercise of, 10% or more of the voting rights in the reporting entity, or its parent; or
(c) has the power to appoint or remove one or more directors of the reporting entity.

The FIU may ask for clarification of information before accepting the registration. Once the FIU has accepted your registration, it is valid for a period of one year, at which time it has to be renewed.

There is a non-refundable application fee of One Hundred dollars (BZD$100.00) for all applications. In addition to the application fee, upon acceptance of your application, an annual registration fee is payable to the FIU. (See regulation 21. (1) (c))

Who has to apply for registration?

In accordance with section 85B (1) of the MLTPA, a person who carries on, or intends to carry on, a relevant business in or from within Belize for which the FIU is specified as the supervisory authority under the Third Schedule of the MLTPA, shall apply for registration with the FIU for that type of relevant business as described below:
(a) Casinos, Gambling Houses, Internet Casino or Online Gaming.
(b) Real estate agents – when they are involved in transactions for their client concerning the buying and selling of real estate.
(c) Dealers in precious metals and precious stones.
(d) Vehicle dealers.
(e) Non-Profit Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations.
(f) Lawyers, notaries, other independent legal professionals, accountants, auditors and tax advisers, when they prepare for or carry out transactions for their client concerning the following activities:

i. buying and selling of real estate;
ii. managing of client money, securities or other assets;
iii. management of bank, savings or securities accounts;
iv. organization of contributions for the creation, operation or management of companies; or
v. creation, operation or management of legal persons or arrangements and buying and selling of business entities.

(g) A business operating in a free zone area.

Who are not eligible to apply for registration?

The following individuals and entities are not eligible to register with the FIU:
Any person that is believed to:

  • have carried out, attempted to carry out, participated in or facilitated a terrorist activity; or
    be controlled directly or indirectly, by acting on behalf of, at the direction of, or in association with any individual or entity conducting any of the above activities.
  • An individual or entity convicted of or is believed to have knowingly carried out, attempted to carry out, participate in or facilitate a terrorist activity, have knowingly acted on behalf of, at the direction of, or in association with such an individual or entity.
  • An individual or entity convicted of a money laundering or a terrorist financing activity offence.
  • Any of the applicant’s directors, senior officers or owners, or their associates, who have committed an offence which constitutes serious crime.

The application for registration process

Effective February 7, 2014, if you intend to start a new business and you are classified as a DNFBP, you are required to be registered with the FIU within 14 days. Once you are registered, you are required to keep your registration information up-to-date. You must submit to the FIU within 14 days, any newly obtained registration information or any changes to your registration information.

Registration Steps

  • Completing and submitting the application for registration form

You must properly fill out the application for registration Form R101 which is available on the FIU’s website at www.fiubelize.org.

  • Once you have completed the application for registration Form R101, keep a copy for your records and submit the completed form to the FIU along with the following:
    • a copy of your deposit ticket showing the non-refundable application fee and initial registration fee. Payment can be deposited to Financial Intelligence Unit’s account #  9139027, Transit # 91595 at any of your local Scotiabank (Belize) Limited branches country wide.
    • copies of valid business license, trade license, dealer’s license, gaming license or other license to operate as applicable
    • copy of certificate of incorporation or business name registration certificate as applicable
    • copy of articles and memorandum of association if entity is incorporated.
    • copy of recent certificate of good standing along with annual listing of shareholders and directors if entity has been incorporated for more than 12 months
    • copy of valid identification (passport or social security card) for all applicant’s directors, senior officers, shareholders or owners.

Sector specific documents:

  • NGO – Copy of certificate of registration as a NGO
  • Businesses Operating in a Free Zone – copy of Compliance Certificate, copy of operations contract (Fourth Schedule)
  • Attorneys and Auditors – Copy of valid practicing certificate

 

  • Forward the properly completed, original registration Form R101 along with other required documents to:

Financial Intelligence Unit
Compliance Department
Coney Drive Plaza
4998 Coney Drive
P.O. Box 2197
Belize City, Belize

What should I expect after I submit my application?

The FIU will process your form within fourteen (14) days and will do either of the following:

  • issue a notice confirming that your application for registration has been accepted.
  • request clarification of information provided on your form; or
  • deny the application for registration.

In each case, the FIU will notify you accordingly.

Confirmation of application for registration

Upon payment of the appropriate annual registration fee, the FIU will provide you or your entity with a confirmation letter which will indicate the expiration date of your registration along with your registration number. Once your registration is accepted, the FIU will post your identification information on its public website. This includes information about your entity and your registration number.

Notification of changes or newly obtained information

Once the registration process has been completed with the FIU, you are required to submit within a 14 day period:
a) any newly obtained registration information or any changes in directors, senior officers, whether as a result of a director or senior officer ceasing to hold office or the appointment of a new director or senior officer; and
b) Any change in its significant owners, whether as a result of a person becoming a significant owner or ceasing to be a significant owner.
To do this, you are required to complete a registration form R101 with the new or changed information and forward the form to the FIU.

Clarification request

The FIU can request clarification concerning the information you submitted about your business. Such clarification can be requested when the FIU is processing your application for registration or after your application for registration or renewal has been accepted.
If the FIU requires clarifying information, you will receive a clarification request detailing what is required and you are expected to respond within 14 days and provide us with the information requested. The FIU may also contact you via telephone to clarify information.

Renewal of registration

Your registration is valid for one year and you are required to renew it before it expires. You may renew your registration with the FIU, fourteen (14) days prior to expiration by submitting a properly filled out the application for registration Form R101 to the FIU along with the following documents:

  • a copy of your deposit ticket showing the renewal fee. Payment can be deposited to Financial Intelligence Unit’s account #  9139027, Transit # 91595 at any of your local Scotiabank (Belize) Limited branches country wide.
  • copies of valid business license, trade license, dealer’s license, gaming license or other license to operate as applicable
  • copy of recent certificate of good standing along with annual listing of shareholders and directors if entity is incorporated.
  • copy of valid identification (passport or social security card) for all applicant’s directors, senior officers, shareholders or owners.

Cessation of business operations

Whether you are an individual, a corporation or other type of entity as defined under the DNFBP Regulations, 2014, if you at any time cease business operations, you are required to notify the FIU within fourteen 14 days after the day on which you cease business operations.

Penalties

Failure to register when you are required to do so may lead to criminal liability. You may be liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than Ten Thousand dollars (BZ$10,000.00) and not more than Fifty Thousand dollars (BZ$50,000.00) or to imprisonment for a period of twelve (12) months or to both.

Under the DNFBP Regulations, the FIU may also impose an administrative penalty of not less than Five Thousand (BZ$5,000.00) and not more than Fifty Thousand (BZ$50,000.00).

Any of the actions related to your registration, as listed below, may lead to administrative sanctions against you in accordance with Section 17 of the MLTPA and the DNFBP Regulations:

  • Knowingly making a false or misleading statement
  • Knowingly providing false or misleading information to the FIU
  • Failure to register your business with the FIU when required to do so
  • Failure to submit information as required in a registration form
  • Failure to submit any change in the information provided with your application prior to registration
  • Failure to provide additional documents and information as required by the FIU to determine the application
  • Failure to renew your registration before it expires
  • Failure to notify the FIU within 14 days of any change in—
    • your directors or senior officers
    • significant owners (as defined in the DNFBP Regulations)
    • information required to be registered under regulation 4 of the DNFBP Regulations,
    • Failure to notify the FIU as required that you ceased your activities for which you are registered within 14 days after the day on which you cease business operations.
  • Annual Registration fees

The following are the current fees in respect of the registration of DNFBPs:

Nature of Business/DNFBPs Initial Registration
and
Application Fee
Registration
Renewal Fee
Casinos $600.00 $600.00
Gambling houses and online gaming $350.00 $300.00
Real estate agents (when they engage in the buying
and selling of real estate on behalf of their clients
$250.00 $200.00
Dealers in precious metals and precious stones $250.00 $150.00
Lawyers, notaries, other independent legal
professionals, accountants, auditors, tax advisors
$250.00 $200.00
Vehicle dealers $200.00 $150.00
NPOs/NGOs $200.00 $100.00
A business in a free zone area $300.00 $300.00

Please note that the initial registration and application fee includes a $100.00 non-refundable fee.

Please make the payment of your application and registration fee to the account listed below:

Account: Financial Intelligence Unit
Bank: Scotia Bank
Account #: 9139027
Transit #: 91595

How to contact the FIU

For further information regarding the registration process and other obligations for reporting entities, please visit the FIU’s website www.fiubelize.org or contact us:

By Mail:
Financial Intelligence Unit
Compliance Department
Coney Drive Plaza
4998 Coney Drive
P.O. Box 2197
Belize City, Belize

Telephone:
223-2729/0596
Email: compliance@fiubelize.org