Cryptocompany's new compliance: risk assessment, procedural rules and AML officer

A cryptocompany that has already been granted licences is required to bring its operations and documents into compliance with the requirements provided below not later than by 1 July 2020.

  1. ID documents. If management board members, beneficial owner or individual owner is a foreign citizen, copies of all of the identity documents of all of their countries of citizenship shall be submitted to the regulator;
  2. AML officer from Estonia. The appointment of a compliance officer is coordinated with the regulator. The name, personal identification code, place of birth, citizenship, address of the place of residence, position, and contact details of the compliance officer shall be submitted to the regulator;
  3. Certificate of the criminal records database (or an equal document). Where a member of management board, beneficial owner or owner is a foreign national, the certificate shall certify the absence of a penalty for an offence against the authority of the state or a money laundering offence or another wilfully committed criminal offence and has been issued no more than three months ago and has been authenticated by a notary or certified in accordance with an equivalent procedure and legalised or certified with a certificate replacing legalisation (apostille);
  4. Education documents, full CV, good business reputation. Regarding a member of a management board, documents indicating the level of education, a full list of the employers and jobs and, the field of responsibility, also documents that the applicant considers important to submit to prove the trustworthiness of the member of the management board and the fact that the applicant has good business reputation;
  5. Payment accounts. The list of payment accounts opened along with each payment account’s unique feature and the account manager’s name. A payment account shall be been opened for a crypto company in a credit institution, e-money institution or payment institution that has been established in Estonia or in a contracting state of the European Economic Area;
  6. Management and activity in Estonia. The registered seat, the seat of the management board and place of business shall be is Estonia;
  7. 12,000 euros share capital. The share capital shall be at least 12,000 euros and has been contributed in money in full;
  8. Documents submission via online or a notary. Applications, requests and notices related to the licences shall be submitted only via the Estonian information gateway or a notary. So for online submission a management board member shall have an Estonian ID, or submit the documents personally via an Estonian notary, or issue his local representative a notarised Power of Attorney. 

Appointment of compliance officer (extract from the AML Act)

  • The management board shall appoint a person who acts as a contact person of the Financial Intelligence Unit (hereinafter compliance officer). A compliance officer reports directly to the management board and has the competence, means and access to relevant information across all the structural units of a crypto company;
  • Only a person who has the education, professional suitability, the abilities, personal qualities, experience and impeccable reputation required for performance of the duties of a compliance officer may be appointed as a compliance officer. The appointment of a compliance officer is coordinated with the Financial Intelligence Unit (i.e. the regulator); 
  • The Financial Intelligence Unit has the right to receive information from a compliance officer or compliance office candidate, their employer and state databases for the purpose of verifying the suitability of the compliance officer or compliance officer candidate. Where, as a result of the check carried out by the Financial Intelligence Unit, it becomes evident that the person’s reliability is under suspicion due to their past acts or omissions, the person’s reputation cannot be considered impeccable and the obliged entity may extraordinarily terminate the compliance officer’s employment contract due to the loss of confidence; 
  • The duties of a compliance officer include, inter alia:
- organisation of the collection and analysis of information referring to unusual transactions or transactions or circumstances suspected of money laundering or terrorist financing, which have become evident in the activities of the obliged entity;
- reporting to the Financial Intelligence Unit in the event of suspicion of money laundering or terrorist financing;
- periodic submission of written statements on compliance with the requirements arising from the AML Act to the management board;
- performance of other duties and obligations related to compliance with the requirements of the AML Act.