On the 20th April, 2020 the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) issued a reminder notice reminding all Subject Persons to submit the Risk Evaluation Questionnaire (REQ) applicable to the relevant activity or relevant financial business category applicable to them by not later than the 4th May, 2020 at 17:00 hrs (this being the extended deadline they had granted in view of the COVID-19 pandemic).

The FIAU explains that as from 5th May, 2020, the REQ will only be available to be completed for information purposes, but Subject Persons who fail to submit the REQ by the stipulated deadline (of the 4th May, 2020), while still being encouraged by the FIAU to complete the REQ, are warned that they may still be subject to the imposition of an administrative penalty by the FIAU (in terms of Regulation 19 of the Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism Regulations (S.L. 373.01)).

The full text of the notice can be viewed at this link.

Subject Persons are reminded that the 2020 REQs, which have been published on the 28th February, 2020, are available on the Compliance and Supervision Platform for Assessing Risk (“CASPAR”) System for completion by Subject Persons on the FIAU’s website at www.fiumalta.org.

The FIAU has also published various Guidance Documents, that are sector-specific, in order to assist the various Subject Persons in completing their respective REQs for 2020, seeing that each sector has a dedicated REQ. In completing the REQ, Subject Persons may also wish to refer to the sector-specific presentations delivered by the FIAU in recent training sessions held in February 2020, although Subject Persons are reminded that these slide shows were also accompanied by verbal explanations and therefore do not provide an exhaustive or full explanation of all the aspects covered.

The REQ was originally due by Subject Persons by the 1st April, 2020 by 17:00 hrs (to compensate for the public holiday on the 31st March, 2020) and had to be submitted through CASPAR against payment of the applicable administrative fee. This notwithstanding, in response to the COVID‐19 pandemic, the FIAU had announced, through a notice uploaded on its website on 16th March 2020, that:

  1. the new deadline for submitting the REQ is the 4th May, 2020 by 17:00 hrs;
  2. the late submission penalty fee of €100, applicable throughout the REQ submission period from 1st April to 4th May, 2020, has been disapplied; and
  3. there shall also not be a ‘late submission’ period, with the only deadline for the submission of the REQ being the 4th May, 2020 at 17:00 hrs as aforesaid.

This news item was written by Anthony Cremona.