UAE steps out of FATF greylist

Category: Blockchain Crypto Regulatory
Posted by Lea Hogg

This month marks a significant milestone for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with its removal from the FATF “grey list” of monitored jurisdictions. This achievement reflects the UAE’s commitment to meeting global standards. The FATF initially placed the UAE on the grey list due to identified strategic deficiencies in its efforts to counter money laundering and terrorist financing.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), is the global authority on anti-money laundering. Clearance for the UAE marks the culmination of a two-year journey that began when the jurisdiction was included on the list in March, 2022. To be removed from the list, the UAE was required to fully implement the FATF’s action plan, which was issued following the 2020 Mutual Evaluation of the UAE.

The FATF, in its October 2023 plenary meeting, acknowledged the UAE’s substantial efforts to enhance its Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) compliance. The UAE had implemented several key reforms since its inclusion on the grey list:

  • The establishment of the Executive Office to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.
  • The creation of a specialist court to address money laundering and financial crime.
  • The introduction of new AML/CTF guidelines for financial institutions and designated non-financial businesses and professions.


UAE triumphs over financial scrutiny

The adoption of a new Penal Code, strengthening the country’s existing anti-money laundering, bribery, and corruption regulations. Furthermore, the UAE’s financial service regulators demonstrated an increased readiness to investigate and enforce actions related to money laundering, aligning with the country’s risk profile. This commitment was evident in the significant increase in enforcement actions related to AML deficiencies.

The FATF’s decision to remove the UAE from the grey list is a testament to the UAE’s dedicated effort to enhance its AML/CFT framework. As a major international and regional financial centre and trading hub, the UAE’s removal from the grey list marks a significant stride forward.


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