Expansion of ‘liquid assets’ definition under Terrorism and money Laundering Law

Kralendijk, The Bottom, Saba, Oranjestad, St. Eustatius – Amendment of the BES Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act [Wet ter voorkoming van witwassen en financieren van terrorisme BES] (Wwft-BES) and the Administrative Fine Policy for Liquid Assets [Bestuurlijke Boetebeleid Liquide Middelen Douane CN] of CN Customs.

An amendment to the BES Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act is coming into effect on  July 1st, 2021. This will lead to a tightening of the measures to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism in the Caribbean Netherlands.

The following are the most important changes relating to the authority of CN Customs [Douane CN].

Expansion of liquid assets. What are these?

From now on, liquid assets will not only include cash, but also gold, precious metals, diamonds and other precious stones. This is because investigations have shown that these goods are regularly brought across the border as part of a money laundering process.

Details on the declaration form

Anyone arriving or departing must now fill in additional details on the declaration form.

However, the threshold amount, namely a combined value of USD 10,000 or more, is unchanged.

Obligation to give notice of unaccompanied transportation of liquid assets

New rules have been drawn up for unaccompanied consignments of liquid assets, such as packages sent by post, courier shipments, unaccompanied baggage or container freight with a combined value of USD 10,000 or more. A notification obligation has been introduced because it has transpired in practice that these goods are regularly connected to criminal activities. As a result, such consignments can be checked more effectively and notice will be given at the request of the Customs Authority.

Notification obligation in the case of amounts of less than USD 10,000

In the case of consignments of liquid assets worth less than the threshold amount of USD 10,000 the customs authority can ask for a notice to be given if there are indications that this consignment is related to criminal activities. This authority applies both to accompanied and unaccompanied consignments.

Fine Policy for liquid assets

The fine amounts in the Fine Policy for Liquid Assets have changed. If someone violates the rules, a distinction is made between intent and no intent.

The following applies to the amount of the fines:

Violation of obligation to declareAmount of administrative fine  
No intent  10% of the total value in USD (up to a maximum fine of USD 14,000)  
Intent  30% of the total value in USD (up to a maximum fine of USD 14,000)  

Questions about these legal amendments and their execution can be emailed to

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