DASPs: AML/CFT framework strengthened

The French decree n°2021-387 of 2 April 2021 on the “fight against the anonymity of virtual assets and reinforcing the national anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism” (AML/CFT) of DASPs (PSAN) was published in the Official Journal of the French Republic of 4 April 2021.

This decree had been expected since the ordinance of 9 December 2020. Its main effect is to abolish simplified procedures applicable to occasional customers. It also simplifies identification procedures.

a) Registered or authorised DASPs and issuers of tokens with the approval of the French inancial Markets Authority (AMF) must identify their customers for each transaction, regardless of the amount and nature (crypto-fiat or between cryptos).

This enhanced obligation only concerns crypto actors, and not others subject to AML/CFT obligations (such as financial institutions). It will come into force on 1 May.

b) The decree eases the identification procedures for DASP customers at the time of entry into a relationship: DASPs may now use a means of identification with a substantial level of guarantee (and no longer necessarily a high one), which may be certified/attested by the French National Cybersecurity Agency (ANSSI), without necessarily notifying the European Commission.

c) The decree also states that the requirements for freezing DASP assets will be specified in forthcoming amendments to the AMF General Regulation.

d) Finally, with regard to electronic money, it is specified that when it is used to purchase digital assets, issuers are subject to customer due diligence requirements. This is not the case for the purchase of any other consumer goods/services, as these transactions are exempt.

⇒ The publication of this decree is an opportunity to remind that, as of 10 June, it will be forbidden for players that enable crypto-crypto trading or operate a digital asset trading platform to operate without being registered with the AMF.