The UK Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act signifies major changes to the UK’s anti-money laundering and sanctions regimes. Britain’s overseas territories, often criticized as tax havens, are now required to establish public registries of beneficial corporate ownership by December 31, 2020. The Act also includes a Magnitsky Amendment, modeled on U.S. law, enabling sanctions against foreign government officials implicated in gross human rights abuses.
UK AML and sanctions program in time for Brexit
The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act (“SAMLA”) received Royal Assent on May 23, 2018. It is enabling legislation, necessary to empower the UK government to ensure effective anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist finance measures are in place. It also implements United Nations (“UN”) sanctions, from March 2019 onwards. The UK currently derives its powers in these regards from the European Communities Act of 1972, but this law will be repealed upon the UK’s withdrawal from