New requirements for cryptocurrency companies in Estonia
From April 2019, FIU may request a personal meeting with representative of the company. The FIU requires personal meeting with the compliance officer from the company. If the compliance officer is not member of the board or share holder (official of the company), then there must be employment agreement which will illustrate relationships between licensed company and compliance officer. It is important to mention that meeting is held in Estonian language and interpreter is necessary. We are able to provide experienced interpreter for a fee EUR 150,00 per meeting.
If the FIU requests a personal meeting, then customer has a 30 days to arrive in Tallinn. License will be granted after the meeting. If company in question does not reply to the meeting request in 30 days, then the FIU will close the case which will result in refusal of the license. Meeting lasts approximately 2 hours and prior to the meeting, our lawyers will prepare the responsible person by providing the legal framework towards AML regulations in Estonia.
2.Amendments in MLTFPA
Currently Estonian Parliament is reviewing changes in Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act. With high certainty the amendments will take effect from January 2020 and will be applied to all new licensing applications as well as to companies holding crypto exchange and e-wallet service provider licenses in Estonia. When approved, the amendments will include following requirements:
Application fee will be raised from EUR 345 per license to EUR 3300;
Company’s headquarter and management will be required to be located in Estonia;
Application review time will be increased from 30 days up to 3 months.
Considering the new amendments, we recommend to make sure if company willing to apply for licenses, will be able to follow the new requirements. If so, then we recommend to begin application process while the new requirements are not in place, in order to pay EUR 345, instead of EUR 3300 per license.
We are closely following process in Parliament and as soon as the new law will be published, we will provide several solutions for new companies, as well as to companies who are holding crypto licenses at the moment.