Poland

Last Updated: 07/04/2014


CENTRAL AUTHORITY FOR REPORTING

According to the Act on Counteracting Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing of 16 November 2000 as amended, published in Journal of Laws of 2010, no. 182 item 1228(the "AML Act", Ustawa z dnia 16 listopada 2000 r. o przeciwdzialaniu wprowadzaniu do obrotu finansowego wartosci majatkowych pochodzacych z nielegalnych lub nieujawnionych zródel), the competent authorities responsible for counteracting money laundering and terrorist financing are:

1.         Minister of Finance, as a minister competent in the matters of financial institutions and the supreme financial information authority, and

2.         General Inspector of Financial Information(the “General Inspector”) performing duties of a deputy minister heading the Department of Financial Information at the Ministry of Finance. The General Inspector is registered with the Egmont Group as the Polish Financial Information Unit.

The General Inspector receives information collected by institutions obliged under the AML Act tocounteract money laundering and terroristfinancing(the “obliged institutions”). The General Inspector is bound to report the execution of its duties to the Polish Prime Minister on a yearly basis.

The main competences of the General Inspector are the following:

a) investigation into transactions deemed suspicious by the General Inspector;

b) carrying out of the procedure for transaction suspension or bank account blocking;

c) adjudicating on the release of frozen asset values;

d) disclosure of information on transaction or requesting for it;

e) submission of documentation supporting suspicion on the commitment of criminal offence to legitimate bodies;

f) initiating and undertaking other measures to counteract money laundering and terrorist financing, including providing ongoing training to personnel of the obliged institutions within the scope of statutory responsibilities imposed on these institutions;

g) monitoring compliance with legal regulations on counteracting money laundering and terrorist financing;

h) co-operation with foreign institutions and international organisations dealing with anti-money laundering or combating terrorist financing;

i) imposing penalties in accordance with the AML Act;

j) performing responsibilities of the authority referred to in Article 15 items 2 and 3 of the Regulation (EC) No. 1781/2006.

 

OTHER ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING REGULATOR(S)

Poland has developed a system of combating money laundering and terrorist financing, consisting of co-operating units, supervisory entities, obliged institutions and law enforcement authorities supporting the General Inspector in fulfilling its statutory duties. The main pillars of the system are the following:

1.         The Co-operating units,Article 2(8) of the AML Act

These are any government and local government authorities and other public organisational units, as well as the National Bank of Poland, the Polish Financial Supervision Authority and the Supreme Chamber of Control.

National Bank of Poland(the “NBP”, Narodowy Bank Polski) is the central bank of Poland, acting as a regulatory authority for the banking sector. The tasks of the NBP are stipulated in, inter alia, the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, the Act on the National Bank of Poland and the Polish Banking Act; according to Article 21 item 3 point 1 of the AML Act, the President of the NBP also controls currency exchange operators;

Polish Financial Supervision Authority(the “PFSA”, Komisja Nadzoru Finansowego) is the regulatory body for financial institutions and companies. The PFSA’s aim is to ensure regular operation of this market, its stability, security and transparency, confidence in the financial market, as well as to ensure that the interests of market actors are protected.

Supreme Chamber of Control(the “NIK”, Najwyzsza Izba Kontroli,) is the country’s supreme supervisory body entitled to exercise wide-rangingcontrol of the revenues and expenditures of all governmental and non-governmental institutions and corporations making use of public funds.

2.         Controlling bodies, Article 21 of the AML Act

The control of compliance of the obliged institutions – except for the National Bank of Poland – with the obligations of counteracting money laundering and terrorist financing is exercised by the General Inspector. Such control may also be carried out, within the statutory framework of the surveillance and control, by the following supervisory entities:

1) President of the NBP, in relation to currency exchange operators;

2) PFSA;

3) Heads of the respective customs service offices, in relation to operators engaging in provision of gambling services, including games of chance, mutual bets and operating automatic gambling machines;

4) Presidents of the Courts of Appeal, in relation to notaries;

5) National Savings and Credit Cooperative Union (“SKOK”, Krajowa Spóldzielcza Kasa Oszczednosciowo-Kredytowa);

6) Competent voivods and governors, in relation to associations;

7) Competent tax audit authorities.

3.         Obliged institutions, Article 2(1) of the AML Act

The AML Act lists the following obliged institutions which are subject to  suspicious transactions reporting duties:

a) branches of credit institutions;

b) any financial institution having its registered office in the territory of the Republic of Poland, branches of financial institutions not having its registered office in the territory of the Republic of Poland;

c) national banks, branches of foreign banks;

d) the NBP - in so far as the maintenance of bank accounts for legal entities, sale of coins, banknotes and numismatic items for collection and other purposes,  buying gold and exchange of damaged legal tender;

e) electronic money institutions, branches of European electronic money institutions, branches of a foreign electronic money institution, acquirers, national payment institutions, payment services offices, branches of the European payment institutions and agents of these entities acting in the territory of the Republic of Poland in the meaning of the Polish Act of 19 August 2011 on payment services;

f) investmentcompanies, custodian banks;

g) foreign legal entities carrying out brokerage activities and commodity brokerage houses in the territory of the Republic of Poland;

h) the National Depository for Securities S.A.– in so far as the maintenance of securities accounts;

i) entities operating in the field of games of chance, mutual betting and automatic machine games and automatic machines games of low prizes;

j) insurance companies in so far as life insurance, including any domestic insurer, main branches of an insurer from a non-EU member country, branches of an insurer from an EU-member country, life insurance intermediaries unless an insurer is responsible for their operations;

k) investment funds, investment fund management companies;

l) cooperative savings and credit unions;

m) postal operators within the meaning of the Act of 12 June 2003 - Postal Law;

n) notaries in so far as the notary’s operations concern trading in asset values; advocates performing their profession; legal advisers practicing their profession outside their employment relationship with agencies which provide services to the government authorities and local government units; foreign lawyers providing legal services apart from  employment, expert auditors, active tax advisers;

o) entities operating in so far as accounts bookkeeping services;

p) entities providing currency exchange operations;

q) entrepreneurs engaged in: auction houses, antique shops, business factoring, tradingin metals or precious/semi-precious stones, commission sale or real estate brokerage;

r) foundations;

s) associations with corporate personality established under the Act of 7 April 1989 - Law of Associations and receiving payments in cash of the total value equal to or exceeding the equivalent of EUR 15,000, originating also from more than one operation;

t) entrepreneurs within the meaning of the Act of 2 July 2004 on freedom of economic activity, receiving payment for commodities in cash of the value equal to or exceeding the equivalent of EUR 15,000; also when the payment for a given product is made by more than one operation.
 


ARE LAWYERS COVERED BY ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING LEGISLATION?

Yes. Following the amendments of May 2004, legal professionals became subject to the requirements of the AML Act. Article 2(1)(n) lists the following categories of legal professionals covered in the AML Act:

  • notaries, in so far as operations they undertake concern assets trading;
  • advocates / legal advisers (adwokat, radca prawny) working within the ambit of their profession;
  • legal advisers practicing their profession outside their employment relationship with agencies providing services to the government authorities and local government units;
  • foreign lawyers providing legal services outside the scope of their employment relationship;
  • expert auditors; and
  • active tax advisers.

HAS THE THIRD EU MONEY LAUNDERING DIRECTIVE BEEN IMPLEMENTED?
IF NOT, WHEN IS IT EXPECTED TO BE IMPLEMENTED? 

Yes. The Third EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive was transposed in Poland by the Act of 25 July 2009 amending the AML Actby implementing the EU Directives 2005/60/CE and 2006/70/CE. The amendment was published in the Journal of Laws on 7 October 2009 (Journal of Laws No 166, item 1317). The Act came into force 14 days later (22 October 2009), except for Article 1 point 21, which entered into force 12 months from the publication date.

The English version of the Act is available here(please note that this version does not include the latest amendments from year 2011).


LIST OF ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING LAWS, INDICATING WHICH LAWS ARE APPLICABLE TO LAWYERS

The current legislation regarding Anti-Money Laundering:

1.         The Act of 16 November 2000 on Counteracting Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing, published in Journal of Laws of 2010, no. 46 item 276as amended (the AML Act), Ustawa z dnia 16 listopada 2000 r. o przeciwdzialaniu praniu pieniedzy i finansowaniu terroryzmu)

The AML Act has implemented the EU Directive 2005/60/EC and 2006/70/EC and introduced criminal sanctions for institutions failing to fulfil their statutory obligations arising under the AML Act.

2.         The regulation of the Minister of Finance of 21 September 2001, published in Journal of Laws of 2001, no. 113 item 1210

This regulation concerns the form of transaction register, manner of keeping the register and mode of providing the General Inspector with data from the register (“KYC rules”).

3.         The Criminal Code of 6 June 1997, Journal of Laws of 1997 no. 88, item 553 as amended, Articles 299 and 165a

Article 299 of the Criminal Code criminalises money laundering, as well as aiding or abetting money launderers. It also includes a tipping-off prohibition and sanctions the failure to submit suspicious transaction reports (“STR”). Sanctions concern any persons acting on behalf of financial institutions that fail to report, or are found to be aiding in, money laundering transactions.

Article 165a of the Criminal Code provides for the terrorism financing offence sanctions.  It defines terrorism financing as collecting, transferring or offering money, securities, other financial assets or valuables for the purposes of financing terrorist activities.

4.         The Criminal Fiscal Code of 10 September 1999, published in Journal of Laws of 1999 no. 111, item 765 as amended– Title I, Section II, Chapter 8.

5.         The Banking Act of 29 August 1997 as amended.

The Banking Act obliges banks to counteract the use of their activities for the purposes of money laundering.


ARE VISITING LAWYERS SUBJECT TO LOCAL ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING LAWS, AND, IF SO, TO WHAT EXTENT?

Foreign lawyers are subject to the provisions of the Act on Provision of Legal Services of Legal Assistance by Foreign Lawyers in the Republic of Poland of 5 July 2002. This act concerns both lawyers qualified in the European Union as well as those qualified outside the EU (provided they are registered with the relevant District Bar Councils in Poland).

The foreign lawyers are, in principle, subject to Polish laws regarding anti-money laundering measures to the same extent as local lawyers. Foreign lawyers acting within the scope of their employment contract are exempted and, therefore, not subject to the provisions of the AML Act.

Like local lawyers (which includes notaries public, advocates and legal advisers), visiting lawyers are obliged to register every transaction the circumstances of which indicate that money may originate from illegal or undisclosed sources.

Moreover, notaries public are obliged to register every transaction exceeding the statutory threshold of EUR 15,000.


LIST OF MONEY LAUNDERING GUIDELINES FOR LAWYERS (FOR EXAMPLE, LAW SOCIETY OR BAR ASSOCIATION GUIDELINES) CURRENTLY IN PLACE.

No official guidelines have yet been issued by any lawyers’ supervisory authority that would refer to or otherwise explain the nature and scope of the legal compliance for legal professionals in Poland.

The process and mode of STR submission by legal professionals is regulated by the Minister of Finance.


IS THE LAW SOCIETY/BAR ASSOCIATION INVOLVED IN SUPERVISING OR ENFORCING COMPLIANCE WITH ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING REGULATIONS?

The Polish Bar Association has a vested interest in ensuring that their members comply with the statutory obligations. The Bar Association may take disciplinary action against their members in various instances. They may also submit any information about suspicious transactions received from their members to the General Inspector, in accordance with internally adopted resolutions.


DESCRIBE CLIENT DUE DILIGENCE REQUIREMENTS, INCLUDING WHEN IT MUST BE UNDERTAKEN BY LAWYERS.

The customer due diligence (CDD) duties imposed on obliged institutions, including lawyers, are defined in Article 8b of the AML Act as “financial security measures”.

In principle, the client due diligence requirements include the following duties:

a) organisation of internal procedures regarding client identification and data protection (Article 10a of the AML Act). However, according to Article 10d of the AML Act, advocates, legal advisers and foreign lawyers are not covered by the provisions of Article 10a of the AML Act;

b) registration of transactions which may be  of a money-laundering nature  (Article8 of the Act);

c) transfer of the data required by the AML Act to the General Inspector; Article 11-13 and Article 16 of the AML Act);

d) enabling governmental control of duties imposed by the AML Act.

The nature and scope of CDD is dependent on the assessment of risk involved in undertaking certain financial transactions.

Financial security measures specified in Article 8b (3) of the AML Act involve:

-       identification and verification of the clients’ (or the clients’ representatives) identity on the basis of documents or information publicly available;

-     establishing and verifying the identity of beneficial owner, including the procurement of information on the purpose and the nature of economic relationships intended by the client;

-       ongoing monitoring of current economic relations with the client. However, Article 10d of the AML Act states that advocates, legal advisers and foreign lawyers are only obliged to identify the client and to verify their identity.

According to Article 8b(4) of the AML Act, the obliged institutions shall apply CDD in particular when:

  • conclude a contract with the client;
  • carry out transaction with the client with whom the obliged institution has not concluded any previous agreements, when the value of the transaction intended exceeds the equivalent of EUR 15,000, regardless of whether the transaction is carried out as a single operation or as several operations if the circumstances indicate that these are interrelated;
  • there is a suspicion of money laundering or terrorist financing, regardless of the value of transaction, its organisational form and the type of client;
  • there are doubts that the previously received CDD data referred to in Article 9 is not authentic or incomplete.

Measures aimed at the client identification must be applied to both new clients and  existing clients. If the circumstances of the transaction indicate that the client is acting on behalf of a third party, the obliged institution must attempt to ascertain the identity of the ordering party.

Due diligence rules require that the client and the beneficial owner should be identified by:

  • in the case of natural persons – name, surname, citizenship, address and ID or passport detail;
  • in the case of legal persons – trade name, organisational form, registered office, address and tax identification number as in the court or company register; name, surname and ID or passport details of the person authorised to represent or act on behalf of the entity in question.

Pursuant to Article 8 of the AML Act, the obliged institutions undertaking any transaction exceeding the equivalent of EUR 15,000 are required to register it. The requirement to register applies also if the transaction is carried out through multiple financial operations, but the circumstances indicate that these operations are linked and have been divided into multiple operations of lesser value with the intent to avoid the registration requirement.

This registration duty does not apply to companies operating within real estate brokerage, electronic money institutions, foreign branches of electronic money institutions, clearing agents, lawyers and legal advisors, including foreign lawyers, expert auditors and tax advisors.

Nevertheless, attorneys (advocates, legal advisers and foreign lawyers) are subject to registration requirements when they participate in AML-sensitive transactions for their clients planning or carrying out transactions relating to:

  • buying and selling real estate or business entities;
  • management of money, securities or other assets;
  • opening and managing bank accounts;
  • arranging payments of contributions and additional payments to the initial or share capital; arranging  payments of contributions to initiate or to undertake business operations of companies, or to manage their administration;
  • setting up or undertaking business activity by entrepreneurs in any other form of business organisation, including its management.

The registered information should, in principle, include:

  • trade date;
  • identification data of the transaction parties;
  • the amount, currency and type of the transaction;
  • bank account numbers used to conduct the transaction, if applicable;
  • substantiation, along with the place, date and manner of placing disposition.

The register of any such transactions must be stored for a period of 5 years, calculated from the first day of the year following the year in which transactions were recorded. Furthermore, any information on the transactions carried out by the obliged institution and documents related to any such transaction must be stored for a period of 5 years calculated from the first day of the year following the year in which the last record in relation to the transaction took place.

Article 8b of the AML Act stipulates that the financial security measures to be applied by lawyers involve identification and verification of the client’s identity on the basis of documents and/or publicly available information.

According to Article 11 of the AML Act, lawyers are also obliged to notify the relevant authorities of registered transactions bearing a suspicion of money laundering. This reporting duty is waived only if lawyers represent their client on the basis of powers of attorney related to the pending court proceedings, or if they provide advice for the purposes of any such proceedings.

The non-observance of the duties imposed by the AML Act may be penalised with a criminal sentence of up to 3 years imprisonment, or with a pecuniary fine of up to PLN 750,000.


DOES YOUR COUNTRY FOLLOW A RISK-BASED APPROACH TO CLIENT DUE DILIGENCE BY LAWYERS?

Yes. According to Article 8b of the AML Act, the scope of financial security measures to be applied by the obliged institution shall be determined on the basis of risk assessment. The risk assessment analysis shall take into account in particular the type of client, client’s economic relations, products or transactions. A failure to comply with the financial security measures is subject to pecuniary penalties under Article 34a of the AML Act.


ARE THERE ENHANCED DUE DILIGENCE MEASURES FOR CERTAIN TYPES OF CLIENTS, FOR EXAMPLE, POLITICALLY EXPOSED PERSONS?

According to Article 9e of the AML Act, obliged institutions must apply enhanced due diligence (EDD) in situations involving higher risk of money laundering or terrorist financing. In particular, lawyers must apply EDD only when the customer is a politically exposed person (PEP).

Article 2 of the AML Act defines politically exposed persons as natural persons domiciled outside the territory of the Republic of Poland:

  • Heads of state or government;
  • Ministers and vice-ministers;
  • Heads of central authorities;
  • Members of parliament;
  • Judges of supreme courts and constitutional tribunals;
  • Members of management or supervisory boards of central banks;
  • Ambassadors;
  • Senior officers of the armed forces;
  • Members of management or supervisory boards of state-owned or state-controlled companies;
  • Certain family members (especially parents and children) and the cohabitants of the persons included in the categories above; and
  • Persons who remain or remained in close professional or business co-operation with the persons covered in the categories above.

With regards to the transactions with PEPs, the obliged institution must:

  • implement procedures to determine whether the client is PEP;
  • determine the sources of PEP’s assets that are to be introduced into circulation;
  • conduct ongoing monitoring of the transactions being carried out on behalf of PEPs;
  • obtain approval of the management in order to carry out the transaction with PEP.

The obliged institutions may require a written statement on whether a client is a person holding a politically exposed position. Penal liability shall be imposed for providing untrue information in any such statement.


ARE THERE SIMPLIFIED DUE DILIGENCE MEASURES FOR CERTAIN TYPES OF CLIENTS, FOR EXAMPLE, LISTED COMPANIES?

1.         According to Article 8 of the AML Act, the registration obligation shall not apply to:

a)         transfers from a regular deposit account to a term deposit account, and vice versa, if the holder is one and the same, within the same obliged institution;

b)         incoming transfers, except for foreign bank transfers;

c)         transactions pertaining to the obliged institution’s own business;

d)         transactions concluded in the internal banking market;

e)         banks which associate with cooperative banks (banki zrzeszajace banki spóldzielcze), provided the transaction has been registered in the associated co-operative bank;

f)          transactions of temporary lien to secure asset values, conducted for the duration of the lien contract with the obliged institution.

2.         Moreover, Article 9d item 1 of the AML Act sets forth the circumstances in which the registration obligation and financial security measures may be waived. These include:

a)         when the client is an entity providing financial services established in the territory of any of the EU member states or equivalent countries, or

b)         in relation to:

  • government bodies, local government authorities and execution bodies;
  • life insurance policies, provided that a fixed annual premium does not exceed the equivalent of EUR 1,000, and that a  single premium does not exceed the equivalent of EUR 2,500;
  • transactions regarding insurance policies being a part of a retirement insurance, provided that the terms and conditions of the policy do not include a surrender clause, and that such policy cannot be used as a collateral for a loan;
  • electronic money devices, within the meaning of the Polish Act of 19 August 2011 on payment services, if the maximum amount stored in the device does not exceed:

-            EUR 250, in case of devices that cannot be recharged, or

-            EUR 2,500 per calendar year, in case of rechargeable devices, provided that the redemption amount is at least the equivalent of EUR 1,000 per calendar year concerned.

  • Transactions that can be traced back by payment service providers of the payee due to a unique reference number assigned to the transaction for the supply of goods and services with the payee, even if amount of such a transaction does not exceed the equivalent of EUR 1,000.

In the event that a client is a company whose securities are admitted to public trading on a regulated market in at least one EU-member country or in an equivalent country, the obliged institutions, taking into account the risk of money laundering or terrorist financing, may abridge the application of financial security measures (i) to client identification and verification of their identity on the basis of documents or information publicly available, (ii) when concluding a contract with a client, or (iii) when there is a suspicion of money laundering or terrorist financing regardless of the value of a transaction, its organisational form and the type of client.


ARE LAWYERS PERMITTED TO RELY ON THIRD PARTY DUE DILIGENCE? IF YES, PLEASE DESCRIBE.

No. Due to the provisions of Article 10d and Art. 9h of the AML Act advocates, legal advisers and foreign lawyers, unlike the other obliged institutions, may not rely on third party due diligence. 


WHEN IS A LAWYER UNDER AN OBLIGATION TO REPORT SUSPICIOUS TRANSACTIONS?

Lawyers are obliged to register every single transaction the circumstances of which indicate that the money may originate from illegal or undisclosed sources. Moreover, notaries public are obliged to register all transactions in excess of EUR 15,000.

Article 11 (5) of the AML Act states that the obligation to provide information on transactions covered by the provisions of the AML Act does not apply if advocates, legal advisers and foreign lawyers, expert auditors and tax advisers represent their client on the basis of a power of attorney related to proceedings pending or provide advice for the purpose of such proceedings.

The information on the registered transaction shall be submitted to the General Inspector immediately after the suspicious transaction is concluded. The aforementioned information shall be also immediately submitted to the General Inspector upon request. 


DOES ATTORNEY/CLIENT PRIVILEGE AND/OR OBLIGATIONS OF CONFIDENTIALITY PROVIDE A DEFENCE OR PARTIAL/TOTAL EXCEPTION TO THE REQUIREMENT TO REPORT SUSPICIOUS TRANSACTIONS?

According to the AML Act, lawyers are in principle obliged to notify the relevant authorities of any suspicious transactions. However, this reporting obligation is waived when representing a client on the basis of a power of attorney related to proceedings or providing advice for the purpose of such proceedings.

The confidentiality of the information pertaining to the client’s transactions is ensured by the operation of client confidentiality and legal privilege. The obligation to maintain confidentiality does not apply to the information disclosed pursuant to the provisions on counteracting the introduction of asset values originating from illegal or undisclosed sources into financial trading.

Additionally, lawyers (apart from the notaries public) are not subject to the general requirement to report any transaction the value of which exceeds EUR 15,000.


DOES LOCAL LAW PROVIDE ANY CRIMINAL AND/OR CIVIL INDEMNITY TO A LAWYER WHO HAS REPORTED A SUSPICIOUS TRANSACTION?

The statutory law does not stipulate any special criminal or civil liability or indemnity for disclosure of information in connection with AML obligations. However, the client may claim damages in accordance with the general rules of civil liability if he/she incurred a loss as a result of the lawyer’s illegal actions. Moreover, an advocate or legal adviser may face disciplinary proceedings for unjustified breach of client confidentiality and legal privilege.


ONCE A SUSPICIOUS TRANSACTION REPORT HAS BEEN FILED, IS A LAWYER ALLOWED TO PROCEED WITH THE LEGAL ADVICE/TRANSACTION, AND, IF SO, MUST CONSENT FROM AUTHORITIES BE OBTAINED FIRST?

If the transaction is suspected to be illegal, as envisaged in Article 299 or Article 165a of the Criminal Code, the General Inspector may suspend the transaction or freeze the bank account (maximum for 72 hours). Any such decision of the General Inspector shall be based on the STR obtained from the obliged institution. Further, the General Inspector shall inform the prosecutor about the suspected crime. If the prosecutor does not uphold the decision of the General Inspector, the transaction can be continued.


IS THERE A TIPPING-OFF PROHIBITION? IF YES, PLEASE DESCRIBE.

According to Article 34 of the AML Act, lawyers are not allowed to disclose any information on the submission of STR to the General Inspector, to the parties involved in a suspicious transaction or the beneficiaries (i.e. the bank account holders) of any such transactions.

Article 299 of the Polish Criminal Code sanctions any person who “receives, transfers or transfers abroad, assists in transfer of title or possession of legal tenders, securities or other foreign currency values, property rights or real or movable property obtained from the profits of offences committed by other persons, or takes other action which can prevent, or make significantly more difficult, determination of their criminal origin or place of deposition, detection or forfeiture”. Consequently, any act of revealing information relating to the AML Act’s proceedings may be regarded as a criminal infringement.

Additionally, tipping-off as a method of notifying a client about pending preparatory proceedings constitutes a crime under Article 241 of the Criminal Code, i.e. disclosure of information from investigation prior to commencement of court proceedings.

Furthermore, under the AML Act, persons performing activities for the General Inspector or working for the prosecutor’s office are required to maintain confidentiality of any information acquired in the course of their activities.


DESCRIBE ANY RESTRICTIONS ON ACCEPTING A NEW CLIENT. 

The Polish law does not set out any restrictions with regard to accepting new clients. However, identification and verification of the identity of individuals and entities participating in the transaction is always a prerequisite of establishing a business relationship.


ARE THERE ONGOING MONITORING REQUIREMENTS FOR EXISTING CLIENTS? IF YES, PLEASE DESCRIBE.

Existing clients are treated in the same way as the new ones. Hence, their identification must be carried out on the same terms as outlined above and their identification data is required to be kept up-to-date.

According to Article 8b of the AML Act, the financial security measures require ongoing monitoring of current economic relationships with the client and surveying transactions carried out. However, according to Article 10d of the AML Act, this requirement does not apply to advocates, legal advisers and foreign lawyers.


DESCRIBE ANY OTHER WAYS IN WHICH LAWYERS ARE AFFECTED BY ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING LEGISLATION.

Lawyers, as any other obliged institution, are obliged to register suspicious transactions and submit STRs to the General Inspector accordingly. Further, they must comply with decisions of the General Inspector and the prosecutor with regard to suspending the transaction or freezing the bank account. Naturally, lawyers are also obliged to comply with the provisions of the AML Act and the provisions of the Criminal Code and are required to refrain from money laundering or terrorist funding.


HAVE LAWYERS IN YOUR JURISDICTION BEEN IMPLICATED IN MONEY LAUNDERING, INCLUDING ANY TYPE OF COMPLAINT, ARREST OR PROSECUTION?

We are aware of one case where a Polish advocate has been convicted for the money-laundering. The case was connected with the financial cheatings regarding the trade of fuels in Poland. 


HAS THE FINANCIAL ACTION TASK FORCE (FATF) CONDUCTED A MUTUAL EVALUATION OF THIS COUNTRY, AND, IF SO, WHAT WERE THE FINDINGS CONCERNING LAWYERS COMPLIANCE WITH THE FATF 40+9 RECOMMENDATIONS?

Polandparticipates in the operations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) indirectly through its membership in the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL). Moreover, Poland is a member of the following organisations:

  • Egmont Group Financial Intelligence Units;
  • Contact Committee for Countering Money Laundering;
  • Special Task Force of MONEYVAL;
  • Eurasian Group (Observatory Statute);
  • Task Force on Organised Crime in the Baltic Sea Region (BALTCOM).

MONEYVAL conducted its most recent evaluation of Poland in 2012.


Information supplied and updated by:


Attorneys of Wardynski and Partners Sp.k.
Banking & Finance Practice Group

Address:

Al. Ujazdowskie 10
00-478 Warszawa
Tel. +4822437 82 00, +48 22 537 82 00
Fax +4822437 82 01, +48 22 537 82 01


http://www.wardynski.com.pl/en/

 

 

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