On September 18, 2019, the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department released a circular on new licensing requirements for money service operators (MSOs).
The circular follows the publication of the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) mutual evaluation report (MER) on Hong Kong, which summarises the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) measures in place in Hong Kong during its onsite visit between October and November 2018.
The report noted under-reporting by many MSOs from sectors assessed as medium and high risk.
In response, the Customs and Excise Department decided to strengthen the AML./CTF regulatory regime of the sector by adopting new licensing requirements for money service operators.
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