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UAE to introduce tougher new gold import rules in 2023

Starting in January 2023, the UAE will impose tougher new rules on gold imports and shipments, according to the Ministry of Economy.

The new policy is aimed at enhancing the trade of gold in line with international standards, and countering money laundering and terrorist financing, according to the ministry.

Violators will face fines ranging from Dh50,000 to Dh5 million, with jail time or suspension of business license. The new rules apply to gold suppliers and retailers, gold refineries, gold recycling companies, as well as non-financial business or professions dealing in gold.

“The adherence to these guidelines is mandatory for all gold refineries operating in the country, starting from next January, in line with national trends in this regard,” said Safeya Al Safi, director of the Anti-Money Laundering Department at the Ministry of Economy.

“It takes international best practices and the findings and recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force into account, and helps consolidate the UAE’s position as a major player in supply chains and global trade networks for the gold,” Al Safi added.

The rules require companies to adapt and enforce policies and procedures to prevent the misuse of gold imports in money laundering or other financial crimes.

“Companies must consider the risks of financial crime in their relations with their suppliers, and communicate with the supervisory authority to find out the measures needed to be taken with regard to the responsible supply of gold from conflict-affected and high-risk areas, to counter money laundering and combat the financing of terrorism,” according to the Ministry of Economy.

The new rules cover risk management policies that gold import centres must comply when supplying gold from conflict-affected and high-risk areas.

The rules also stipulate the establishment of an effective governance system and provide for risk assessment within the supply chain, as well as mitigate identified risks and allow for independent third-party reviews and periodic reporting.

Local importers are required to submit audited reports and hire an in-house officer to handle compliance tasks within registered companies. ICA/Expat Media

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