As reported in Crowell & Moring’s previous post, the U.K. government announced a Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Bill to provide the U.K. with the necessary framework and powers to implement economic sanctions and AML regulations once it formally exits the European Union.
The Sanctions and AML Bill was introduced in the House of Lords in October 2017. Several matters were discussed and amended during the Report stage in the House of Lords:
|The government restricted the regulation-making powers of the executive branch to cases in which there is good and reasonable cause for action and where the Parliament has issued a report.|
|Designations require procedural fairness and proportionality. In addition, the power to designate by description is now limited to cases in which it is not practicable for the Minister to identify by name all the persons falling within the description, and the description is sufficiently precise that a reasonable person would know whether any person falls within it.|
|The licensing regime was also discussed and the U.K. government stated that an initial framework for exceptions and licenses will be published and the interested parties will continue to be consulted before the Sanctions and AML Bill enters into force.|
|The government did not establish a broad power to create new criminal offenses in the AML context.|
|The new Bill will not implement a beneficial owner registry in overseas territories or a register of beneficial ownership of U.K. property registered outside the U.K. However, Clause 44 of the report requires the Secretary of State to publish and lay before Parliament three reports on the progress that has been made to put in place a register of beneficial owners of overseas entities.|
The review of the Sanctions and AML Bill in the House of Lords was completed on January 24. The Bill was then introduced in the House of Commons for first reading on January 25. The version of the Bill introduced in the House of Commons can be found here, along with Explanatory Notes.
No amendments were made during this first reading, and the Bill’s second reading is scheduled for February 20. Three more steps are still necessary within the House of Commons (Committee Stage, Report Stage, and Third Reading) before the Bill is ready to receive royal assent and be enacted into law. There is no set time period for the discussion of amendments and royal assent.