AML/CFT Compliance and Certification Services in UAE

Anti-money laundering law comprises the laws, regulations, and procedures to curb the disguising of illegally obtained funds through market manipulation, trading of illegal goods, corruption, tax evasion, terrorism, etc. AML is targeting to identify and prevent the methods to launder the illegally obtained funds.

Anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism (CFT) are now global concerns. And all individuals and firms in the UAE shall adhere to the rules and regulations to avoid legal consequences.


In UAE to develop the legislative and legal structure of the nation to ensure compliance with international standards on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism Federal Decree-law No. (20) of 2018 on ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING AND COMBATING THE FINANCING OF TERRORISM AND FINANCING OF ILLEGAL ORGANISATIONS has been implemented.

The law aims to:

(a) Combat money-laundering practices.

(b) Establish a legal framework that supports the authorities concerned with anti-money laundering and crimes related to money-laundering.

(c) Counter the financing of terrorist operations and suspicious organisations.

The UAE AML Law (Cabinet Decision No. 10 of 2019) outlined following categories as Designated Nonfinancial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) in Article 3.

Anyone who is engaged in the following trade or business activities shall be considered a DNFBP:

  • Brokers and real estate agents when they conclude operations for the benefit of their customers with respect to the purchase and sale of real estate.
  • Dealers in precious metals and precious stones (any single monetary transaction or several transactions that appear to be interrelated or equal to more than AED 55,000).
  • Lawyers, notaries, and other independent legal professionals and independent accountants, when preparing, conducting, or executing specific financial transactions for their customers.
  • Providers of corporate services and trusts upon performing or executing the specific transaction on behalf of their Customers.
  • Other professions and activities shall be determined by a decision of the Minister.

Statutory obligations of DNFBPs are:

  • Appointment of an AML/CFT compliance officer
  • Performing customer due diligence (CDD) measures
  • Suspicious transaction reporting to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU)
  • Subscription to the automatic reporting system for sanctions lists

To fulfill these statutory obligations, DNFBPs should ensure that they have adequate internal policies, procedures, and controls in place, commensurate with the size and nature of the business. DNFBPs that fail to follow with these rules shall be subject to various administrative and financial penalties ranging from Dh 50,000 to Dh 5 millions. This law and framework have been established to detect, discourage and prevent financial crimes and reporting suspicious transactions.


Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Advisory

With the continuous changes in the regulatory framework and more stringent AML Rules and regulations, it is becoming difficult for Financial institutions and DNFPBs to implement new regulations and design complete compliance framework.

We help our customers and provide advisory services on –

  • Registering in GoAml portal’
  • Identifying and assessing ML/FT risks
  • AML Governance Framework,
  • Assurance Reviews and Agreed Upon Procedures
  • Compliance Remediation,
  • Financial Crime Prevention Framework.
  • Putting in place an adequate governance framework for AML/CFT
  • Comply with the directives of the Competent Authorities of the State in relation to the United Nations Security Council resolutions under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, and in relation to Cabinet Decision No. (20) of 2019 Regarding Terrorism Lists Regulation and Implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions.
  • Providing outsourced compliance officer services and AML consulting services.
  • Extending all the necessary guidelines to your team in keeping and maintaining the books and records in relation to the law in a manner that is best suited to your line of business

UAE Amended some Administrative Penalties for Violation of Tax Laws in the UAE

Cabinet Decision No. 49 of 2021 on Amending some Provisions of Cabinet Decision No. 40 of 2017 on the Administrative Penalties for Violation of Tax Laws in the UAE

In accordance with Cabinet Decision No 49 of 2021 on Amending some Provisions of Cabinet Decision No. 40 of 2017 on the Administrative Penalties for Violation of Tax Laws in the UAE, which will be effective from 28 June 2021, the FTA would like to inform you that it has released two Public Clarifications, which you can view on the FTA website.

With respect to TAXP002, and if you had any outstanding balances, you would have previously been able to see such outstanding balance on the returns page. From Wednesday 23 June, you will be able to see how much of your balance is related to tax and how much is related to administrative penalties on the My Payments page when you log into E-Services. This link will open a window that will include the following:

  • Tax Payable – this is the outstanding tax balance (based on tax returns you submitted and any adjustments due to voluntary disclosures or tax assessments) and will be updated on a daily basis until 31 December 2021, for you to know how much tax is outstanding and is subject to late payment penalties if not settled by payable date, and needs to be settled in full before 31 December 2021 to benefit from the redetermination of administrative penalties in accordance with Cabinet Decision No 49 of 2021.
  • Late Registration Penalty – this is the outstanding unpaid late registration penalty, if available.
  • Other Penalties Payable – this is the outstanding unpaid administrative penalties balance (other than late registration) and may increase if new administrative penalties are applied or decrease if payments are made or penalty reversed. The balance on 28 June 2021 will be subject to redetermination if conditions stated in Cabinet Decision No 49 of 2021 are met.
  • Net Payable Amount – this is the total amount of Tax Payable and Penalties Payable outstanding at any time.
  • Total Credit – this is the amount of credit that the registrant has with the FTA. FTA will be launching a full dashboard with your Tax Payable and Administrative Penalties



Received Penalties For Non-Submission Of ESR Report?!. File An Appeal

Received Penalties For No-Submission Of ESR Report?!. File An Appeal

Did you successfully submit the Economic Substance Notification & Economic Substance Report of your company to the Ministry of Finance?

Did you get any response from the authority is after that?

Many licensees in the UAE have come across penalty emails from the Ministry of Finance.

Did you get any such penalty email?

If yes, do you know how to resolve the issues? In order to resolve such issues, we should know exactly the reason for receiving such a penalty ticket from the Authority. We have listed down some of the reasons why you might have received penalty emails

Situation in which Economic Substance Notification is submitted declaring a Specific Relevant Activity. Later the Economic Substance notification amendment was filed that it is not covered in Relevant activity neither earning relevant income in the Economic Substance Notification.

In this case, the company need not submit the Economic Substance Report. But the approval for Amendment on Economic Substance Notification might have taken the time and by then the Economic Substance Report Tab becomes active.

Economic Substance Report was not filed since it is not carrying relevant activity . Still, the penalty ticket may raise.

How to waive off the penalties generated from situations like above?

In the above-given scenarios, the Licensee or Exempted Licensee will have the option to Appeal.

Article 13 & 14 of the Economic Substance Regulation provides the offences & penalties for failure to provide Notification and Report, respectively.  The administrative penalty will be levied on that Licensee or Exempted Licensee who fails to submit Notification & Report (wherever applicable) as below:
Failure to submit    Penalty Amount

Failure to submit Penalty amount


If there is a delay in submitting Economic Substance Notification or Economic Substance Reports, and if such delay is because of the ignorance of the Law, the chance of getting approval for waiving off the penalty cannot be assured through an appeal.

But there are genuine cases as mentioned at the beginning of this article, where the penalty can be appealed and removed. We are happy to resolve your issues by submitting the Appeal to the Authority.