The Precious Stones and Precious Metals (Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing) Act (“PSPM Act”) will come into force on 10 April 2019. It introduces a supervisory and regulatory regime for precious stones and precious metals dealers.
The precious stones and precious metals sector is exposed to inherent money laundering (“ML”) and terrorism financing (“TF”) risks, as precious stones and precious metals are good stores of value, easily transported and concealed, and easily convertible to cash.
The new regime will mitigate these ML and TF risks, enhance the effectiveness of Singapore’s AML/CFT regime, combat crime and improve security, both domestically and globally.
Overview of the regulatory regime
Who does the new regime cover?
The regime will cover regulated dealers.
A “regulated dealer” is any person who carries on a business:
(a) of regulated dealing; or
(b) as an intermediary for regulated dealing.
“Regulated dealing” means:
(a) selling, offering for sale, purchasing for the purpose of resale, importing for sale, possessing for sale, or manufacturing any “precious stone”, “precious metal” or “precious product”; or
(b) selling or redeeming any “asset-backed token”.
Regulated dealers include, but are not limited to, jewellers, bullion traders, jewellery wholesalers, jewellery retailers and second-hand goods dealers. The regime also applies to regulated dealers who are based overseas but carry on a business of regulated dealing in Singapore.
Intermediaries for regulated dealing who are covered under the regime include, but are not limited to, auction houses and trading platforms.
Importantly, the regime does not intend to cover individuals who make one-off purchases and subsequently decide to sell their items to a second-hand goods dealer. Further, pawnbrokers are not regulated dealers as they are already subject to AML/CFT measures under the Pawnbrokers Act.
What does the new regime cover?
“Precious stones” include diamonds, sapphires, rubies, emeralds, jade, and pearls.
“Precious metals” include gold, silver, platinum, iridium, osmium, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, and alloys with at least 2% in weight of any of the metals stated above.
“Precious products” include, but are not limited to, any jewellery, watch, apparel, accessory, ornament or other finished product that is:
(a) made up of, contains or has attached to it any precious stone or metal or both; and
(b) derives at least 50% of its value is attributable to the precious stone or precious metal or both.
An “asset-backed token” is any token, certificate or instrument:
(i) backed by one or more “precious stone”, “precious metal” or “precious product”; and
(ii) that entitles the holder to the “precious stone”, “precious metal” or “precious product” or part of it (e.g. certificates or tokens).
Asset-backed tokens do not include securities or derivative contracts within the meaning of the Securities and Futures Act, or commodity contracts within the meaning of the Commodity Trading Act. Securities contracts, derivative contracts and commodity contracts are not covered under the new regime.
What do regulated dealers have to do?
Under this regime, the requirements that apply to regulated dealers include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Register with the Registrar of Regulated Dealers within 6 months after the PSPM Act commences (i.e. by 9 October 2019);
- Perform customer due diligence measures under circumstances that are prescribed by the PSPM Act;
- File Suspicious Transaction Reports (“STR”) with the Suspicious Transaction Reporting Office (“STRO”) and the Anti-Money Laundering / Countering the Financing of Terrorism Division (“ACD”) where there is suspicion of ML/TF;
- File Cash Transaction Reports (“CTR”) with STRO and ACD for cash transactions exceeding S$20,000;
- STRO will be revising the CTR for paper filing. You will be required to use a revised CTR with effect from 10 April 2019 for paper filing.
- For more information, please refer to STRO’s website.
- Keep records of the following documents/information for a period of 5 years or such other prescribed period:
- transactions where customer due diligence was conducted;
- information obtained from customer due diligence; and
- CTRs that have been filed.
- Conduct risk assessments to determine the ML/TF risk posed by its customers and transactions; and
- Put in place internal policies, procedures and controls to mitigate the specific ML/TF risks identified by their risk assessments.