November 4, 2004
PATRIOT Act Rules Finally Here
The U.S. Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) hopes to issue final rules in the next 30 days to extend the 2001 USA PATRIOT Act's anti-money laundering and terrorist-financing rules to dealers in precious metals, stones and jewels, says William D. Langford Jr., associate director for regulatory policy for FINCEN. The news was announced by the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, which has acted as the jewelry industry's representative in discussions with FINCEN throughout the long period between the government's initial proposal and its final rules.
The rules will affect most jewelry industry retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and refiners. Companies wll have six months to comply, according to JVC. The regulations oblige most businesses or individuals with $50,000 or more a year in gross proceeds to develop a written anti-money laundering program based on an internal risk assessment. The purpose of this program is to prevent exploitation by those with criminal intent to use the jewelry industry to launder illegal funds.
Congress has identified the jewelry industry as a trade susceptible to money laundering. JVC has worked closely with Treasury and FinCen to communicate the jewelry industry's needs and to develop guidelines to help jewelers develop effective AML programs. "The Act mandates that most jewelry businesses must create a written AML program to increase business vigilance to detect and prevent those trying to launder money through our industry for illegal purposes," says Cecilia Gardner, JVC's executive director and general counsel. "Very soon after the rules are finalized, we will make JVC's USA PATRIOT Act Compliance Kit available to the jewelry industry. The kit provides guidance and templates for compliance with the requirements of the rules. In addition, the PATRIOT Act section on JVC's website provides important information to help companies determine if they are covered by the rules and develop AML programs to safeguard them from unintentionally becoming involved in illegal activities."
The final rules and guidelines will be posted on JVC's website: www.jvclegal.org. To download the final rules and for updates about the USA PATRIOT Act and other programs, products and services, visit www.jvclegal.org. JVC's USA PATRIOT Act section will contain the latest information available.