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07 November 2003
The 40 Recommendations can be accessed on the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development website at www.oecd.org/fatf.
The revised 40 Recommendations are a new, comprehensive framework for combating money laundering and terrorist financing. Member and non-member states are encouraged to take the necessary steps to bring their systems for combating money laundering and terrorist financing into compliance and to implement the recommended measures.
Swiss legislation currently in force is already largely in compliance with the revised 40 Recommendations.
However, some changes are necessary, particularly in the fields of criminal law and corporate law. The working group will be responsible for recommending the necessary changes to the Money Laundering Act and the Swiss Criminal Code in order to ensure full compliance with the revised 40 Recommendations. Among the most important measures to be taken is the widening of the range of predicate offences. So far, under Swiss law the crime of money laundering applies only to offences which are subject to a minimum punishment of five years' imprisonment or more; this does not cover a significant number of rather serious offences, such as violation of IP rights and contraband.
The 40 Recommendations suggest that countries apply a threshold approach, which is the case in Switzerland, to qualify as predicate offences at a minimum all offences categorized as serious under national law, or to include all offences punishable by a maximum penalty of more than one year's imprisonment.
Article 305(3) of the Swiss Criminal Code will thus have to be revised to include a broader range of offences. Those might include counterfeiting, insider trading, stock exchange manipulations, contraband, copyright and trademark infringement, unfair competition and use of false statements in tax returns.
On the corporate side, transparency requirements will have to be enacted with respect to the issuance of bearer shares.
The FATF intends to verify the implementation of the revised 40 Recommendations at the beginning of 2005; it is thus likely that a result of the working group's work will be available in the second half of 2004 or before.
For further information on this topic please contact Emmanuel Genequand or Guy-Philippe Rubeli at Pestalozzi Lachenal Patry by telephone (+41 22 737 1000) or by fax (+41 22 737 1001) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com).
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