The Polish General Inspector of Financial Information (GIFI) is the main element of the Polish system of counteracting money laundering and financing of terrorism. In the performance of its statutory tasks, the GIFI is assisted by the Polish Financial Information Department of the Ministry of Finance. The GIFI, together with the Department, is considered a financial intelligence unit as defined in the regulations of the European Union.
The Polish General Inspector of Financial Information accepts reports of actual or potential violations of the provisions on counteracting money laundering and terrorist financing from employees, former employees of obligated institutions or other persons who perform or performed activities for the obligated institutions on a basis other than an employment relationship.
Notifications about above-threshold transactions to the GIFI are one of the key tasks of the obligated institutions.
The Act on counteracting money laundering and terrorist financing of March 1, 2018 and the amendment to the AML Act of March 30, 2021 indicate that one of the key tasks of the obligated institutions is close cooperation with the GIFI (i.e. the General Inspector of Financial Information, which is the main element of Polish AML system).
As part of this cooperation, institutions are obliged to:
– GIFI reporting on above-threshold transactions,
– reporting to the GIFI of suspicious transactions,
– providing GIFI with forms identifying the obligated institution,
– providing the GIFI with all other information that may be relevant to counteracting money laundering and terrorist financing,
– implementation of GIFI recommendations, such as blocking an account, suspending transactions, freezing property values and not making property values available to an entity or person (which may mean, inter alia, failure to grant a loan or credit, failure to make a donation or payment).
In the performance of its statutory tasks, the GIFI is assisted by the Financial Information Department of the Polish Ministry of Finance, which performs the tasks of the Polish Financial Intelligence Unit (PFIU). Financial Intelligence Unit (“FIU”) means the central government agency responsible for receiving (and, if permitted, requesting), analyzing and communicating to the appropriate authorities disclosed financial information:
i) concerning suspect income and potential terrorist financing, or
(ii) required by national legislation or regulations to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
Above-threshold transactions that must be reported to the GIFI. Any obligated institutions must submit notifications to the General Inspector of Financial Information on:
1) accepted payment or made payment of funds with the value exceeding EUR 15,000;
2) the executed transfer of funds with the value exceeding EUR 15,000, except for:
a) transfer of funds between a payment account and a term deposit account that belong to the same client at the same obligated institution,
b) domestic transfer of funds from another obligated institution,
c) transactions related to the own economy of the obligated institution, which were carried out by the obligated institution on its own behalf and for its own benefit, including transactions concluded on the interbank market,
d) transactions carried out on behalf of or for the benefit of public finance sector entities, referred to in Art. 9 of the Act of August 27, 2009 on Public Finances,
e) transactions carried out by a bank associating cooperative banks, if the information about the transaction was provided by an associated cooperative bank,
f) transfer of title to secure property values performed for the duration of the transfer agreement with the obligated institution.
The obligation to provide information to the GIFI also applies to:
1) transfer of funds from outside the territory of the Republic of Poland to a payee whose payment service provider is an obligated institution,
2) transactions of purchase or sale of foreign exchange values, the equivalent of which exceeds EUR 15,000, or intermediation in carrying out such a transaction.
In accordance with the Polish Act of March 1, 2018 on counteracting money laundering and financing of terrorism, obliged institutions are, among others, entities conducting business activity consisting in the provision of services in the field of:
a) exchanges between virtual currencies and means of payment,
b) exchanges between virtual currencies,
c) intermediation in the exchange referred to in points a) or b),
d) keeping the accounts in an electronic form constituting a set of identification data providing authorized persons with the possibility of using virtual currency units, including carrying out transactions of their exchange.
Such obliged institutions operating within virtual currencies have been assigned with certain duties, including operational ones, in connection with the conduct of a given activity involving property values and aimed at achieving the objectives set out in the Act on counteracting money laundering and financing of terrorism. The primary requirements are:
– applying financial security measures to clients, such as: identification of the client and verification of his identity; identification of the beneficial owner; assessment of business relations and possibly obtaining information on their purpose and intended nature; documentation of applied security measures; ongoing monitoring of the client’s business relations;
– identifying the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing;
– documenting the identified risk along with its assessment;
– application of special restrictive measures against special persons and entities (freezing property values, non-disclosure of property values);
– providing the General Inspector of Financial Information (GIFI) with information about transactions and notifying about circumstances that may indicate a suspicion of committing money laundering or terrorist financing.
The following link provides specific guidelines (in Polish) on reporting transactions by obliged institutions to the GIFI as well as includes the description of the schemes of information about transactions: https://www.gov.pl/web/finanse/raportowanie-transakcji-giif
KIELTYKA GLADKOWSKI KG LEGAL provides comprehensive assistance to Clients within guidelines as to preparing risk assessment, reporting duties, recommendations on safe operations and registration duties within crypto currency activities in Poland.