International Financial Law Prof Blog

Editor: William Byrnes
Texas A&M University
School of Law

Friday, November 4, 2016

Brazil's unresolved Money Laundering Issues

In February 2016, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the international standard-setter for combating money laundering, the financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons FATF logoof mass destruction, released a statement conveying its deep concerns about Brazil’s continued failure to remedy the serious deficiencies identified in its third mutual evaluation report adopted in June 2010. Brazil had not criminalised terrorist financing since 2004, when Brazil’s second mutual evaluation report was adopted. And while the FATF welcomed progress by Brazil on the freezing of terrorist assets, further improvements were required to fully satisfy the FATF standards. The FATF called on Brazil to fulfil its FATF membership commitment by enacting counter terrorist financing legislation that would adequately address these shortcomings in line with the FATF Recommendations. If adequate legislation was not enacted by the June 2016 FATF Plenary, the FATF would have considered the next steps in the follow-up process.

On 16 March 2016, Law 13.260 was enacted to  criminalise terrorism and terrorist financing[1]and “deal with investigative and procedural provisions and to reformulate the concept of a terrorist organization” and which covered most of the elements of former SR.II, thereby addressing that Recommendation sufficiently (with minor deficiencies). The FATF welcomed that important development and decided not to consider the next steps in the follow-up process.

Since June 2016, Brazil has taken additional steps towards improving its counter-terrorism (CFT) regime by preparing several ordinances which would in principle contribute to fully implementing UNSCRs 1267 and 1373. These however, are yet to be enacted.

There still remain a number of shortcomings that Brazil must address in order to reach a satisfactory level of compliance with the FATF standards. If sufficient progress is not made by February 2017, the FATF will consider taking other measures, including issuing another Public Statement.

[1] Among the provisions included in the new law, article 5, paragraph 1 establishes penalties to the agents, who with the purpose of practicing acts of terrorism, recruit, organize, carry or equip individuals traveling to a country other than that of their residence or nationality. This is an important provision in line with UNSCR 2178 (2014).  

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