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NGOs & NPOs

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)/Non Profit Organizations(NPOs)

As defined by the Non-Governmental Organizations Act Chapter 315 of the Laws of Belize, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) is a legal entity formed as a company limited by guarantee under the Companies Act whose aims, nature and objects, direct or indirect, are consistent with the principles enshrined in the preamble to the Belize Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all those international and regional human rights treaties and instruments to which Belize is a party, and are designed to contribute to sustainable human development in Belize.

The First Schedule of the Money Laundering and Terrorism Prevention Act, 2008 has been amended to include NGO’s and NPO’s.

Reporting

Suspicious transactions

You must report where there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a transaction or an attempted transaction is related to the commission or attempted commission of a money laundering offence or a terrorist activity financing offence. You may access the STR Form by clicking here.

Terrorist property

You must report where you know that there is property in your possession or control that is owned or controlled by or on behalf of a terrorist or a terrorist group.

Record Keeping
You must keep the following records:

  • Large cash transaction records
  • Receipt of funds records
  • Client information records
  • Copies of official corporate records
  • Copies of suspicious transaction reports

Ascertaining Identity

You must take specific measures to identify the following individuals or entities:

  • Any individual who conducts a large cash transaction,
  • Any individual or entity for whom you have to keep a client information record or a receipt of funds record, and
  • Any individual for whom you have to send a suspicious transaction report.

Third Party Determination

Where a large cash transaction record is required, you must take reasonable measures to determine whether the individual is acting on behalf of a third party. When a client information record is required, you must take reasonable measures to determine whether the client is acting on behalf of a third party.
In cases where a third party is involved, you must obtain specific information about the third party and their relationship with the individual providing the cash or the client.

Compliance Regime

The following five elements must be included in a compliance regime:

    • The appointment of a compliance officer
    • The development and application of written compliance policies and procedures
    • The assessment and documentation of risks of money laundering and terrorist financing, and measures to mitigate high risks
    • Implementation and documentation of an ongoing compliance training program
    • A documented review of the effectiveness of policies and procedures, training program and risk assessment

    In addition to the above requirements NGOs/NPOs should:

    1. Maintain information on:
      1. The purpose and objectives of their stated activities; and
      2. The identity of person(s) who own, control or direct their activities, including senior officers, board members and trustees. This information should be publicly available either directly from the NGO/NPO or through appropriate authorities;
    2. Issue annual financial statements that provide detailed breakdowns of income and expenditure;
    3. Have controls in place to ensure that all funds are fully accounted for, and are spent in a manner that is consistent with the purpose and objectives of the NGO’s/NPO’s stated activities;
    4. Be licensed or registered;
    5. Follow a “know your beneficiaries and associated NGOs/NPOs” rule; and
    6. Maintain, for a period of at least five years, records of domestic and international transactions, and the information in (a) and (b) above, and make these available to competent authorities upon appropriate authority.

    Penalties for Non-compliance

    Non-compliance with Money Laundering & Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2008 may result in criminal or administrative penalties.