Business Operating in a Free Zone Area

As defined by the Commercial Free Zone Act Chapter 278 of the Laws of Belize, a “Commercial Free Zone business” or “CFZ business” means a private or public party which has been granted approval to operate such a business under the Commercial Free Zone Act and any regulations and which conducts a trade or business, including but not limited to manufacturing, commercial, office, warehousing, professional or other activity, primarily within any Commercial Free Zone.

The First Schedule of the Money Laundering and Terrorism Prevention Act, 2008 has been amended to include a business operating in a free zone area.


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 report an STR to the FIU within 3 days. You may access the STR Form by clicking STR Form.

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.

Large cash transactions

You must report to the FIU large cash transactions involving amounts of $20,000 or more received in cash on a quarterly basis. To access the quarterly transaction report form click here.

Record Keeping

You must keep the following records:

  • Large cash transaction records
  • Receipt of funds records
  • Client information 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/money laundering 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

Penalties for Non-compliance
Non-compliance with Money Laundering & Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2008 and the Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions Regulation, 2014 may result in criminal or administrative penalties.