As part of the measures that the FIAU has taken in response to the Coronavirus outbreak, including in order to contribute to national efforts aimed at avoiding its spread, the FIAU has, on the 16 March 2020, announced both an extension (up to 4 May, 2020 at 17:00 hrs) for the filing of the REQ by Subject Persons (that was otherwise due by the end of March 2020) as well as a waiver of the late filing fee of EUR100 (that was otherwise applicable for the entire period from 1 April to 4 May, 2020).
The 2020 Risk Evaluation Questionnaires ("REQs") are available on the Compliance and Supervision Platform for Assessing Risk ("CASPAR") System for completion by Subject Persons on the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit ("FIAU")'s website at https://www.fiumalta.org/, having been published on the 28 February, 2020.
The FIAU has also published various Guidance Documents, that are sector specific, in order to assist the various Subject Persons in completing their respective REQ's for 2020. Subject Persons who are not yet registered on the CASPAR system are requested to do so without delay, by perusing the User Guide found on the FIAU website. In completing the REQ, Subject Persons may also wish to refer to the sector-specific presentations delivered by the FIAU in recent training sessions held in February 2020, although Subject Persons are reminded that these slide shows were also accompanied by verbal explanations and therefore do not provide an exhaustive or full explanation of all the aspects covered.
The REQ was originally due by Subject Persons by the 1 April, 2020 by 17:00hrs (to compensate for the public holiday on the 31 March, 2020) and has to be submitted through CASPAR against payment of the applicable administrative fee. This notwithstanding, in response to the COVID‐19 pandemic, as mentioned, and also due to the various measures that several Subject Persons are also implementing in response to the worldwide pandemic – and which the FIAU recognises "may impact their capability and efficiency in responding to regulatory submissions" – the FIAU has announced, through a notice uploaded on its website on 16 March 2020, that:
(a) the new deadline for submitting the REQ is the 4 May, 2020 by 17:00 hrs;
(b) the late submission penalty fee of €100.00 applicable throughout the REQ submission period from 1 April to 4 May 2020, has been disapplied;
(c) there shall also not be a 'late submission' period, with the only deadline for the submission of the REQ, for the time being, being the 4 May, 2020 at 17:00 hrs as aforesaid; and
(d) the FIAU will be monitoring the developing situation with respect to the Coronavirus spread, and may extend the deadline for submission further.
The FIAU warns Subject Persons, however, that as things stand today, those Subject Persons who submit their REQ after the 4 May 2020 deadline may be subject to administrative penalties.
The full text of the notice can be found here.
Whilst urging Subject Persons to refrain from attending at the FIAU's offices unless a meeting has actually been scheduled, and announcing other Coronavirus-mitigating measures, the FIAU has invited Subject Persons who may have any queries, including REQ‐related queries, not to contact the FIAU by telephone, but to send an email on one of the following email addresses, depending on the subject matter in question (including a contact number also):
– firstname.lastname@example.org for REQ
and Caspar‐related queries;
– email@example.com for AML/CFT technical queries;
– firstname.lastname@example.org for all other queries regarding the FIAU's AML/CFT supervisory and enforcement functions.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.