The FATF has congratulated Mauritius for the significant progress made in addressing the strategic AML/CFT deficiencies identified earlier by the FATF.
The 5th Plenary of the Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”) under the German Presidency of Dr. Marcus Pleyer took place between 19-21 October 2021. We are pleased to announce that the FATF has congratulated Mauritius for the significant progress made in addressing the strategic AML/CFT deficiencies identified earlier by the FATF. The action plan was robust and resulted in Mauritius no longer being subject to the FATF’s increased monitoring process. This comes after Mauritius received an on-site visit, despite the COVID-19 crisis. Mauritius will continue to work with ESAAMLG of which it is a member, to continue to strengthen its AML/CFT regime.
Mauritius was initially included on the FATF grey list in February 2020 as a result of strategic deficiencies identified by the FATF in its AML/CFT regime. Since then, the Mauritian Government had made a high-level political commitment to actively work with the FATF to address the identified deficiencies following which the national AML Committee, Government officials, Regulators and other stakeholders have supported the implementation of key reforms in relation to the FATF action plan.
The FATF announced in the June 2021 plenary session that Mauritius had substantially completed its action plan and commended Mauritius’ efforts for the progress achieved despite the pandemic. This announcement already pre-empted the exit of Mauritius from the grey list subject to an on-site assessment by FATF delegates in September 2021. This visit has been conclusive in determining that Mauritius has implemented adequate sustainable AML/CFT reforms that such efforts have been maintained during that period, and the necessary political commitment remains in place to ensure that the reforms are sustained going forward.
This is a proud moment for our country considering the economic impact suffered by Mauritius whilst on the grey list. Over the last 18 months, MIFC has demonstrated its commitment, resilience, agility and ability to work in concerted efforts, coordinating key reforms to cure strategic AML/CFT deficiencies. It is time to congratulate all stakeholders including the business community in Mauritius involved in the process. We now seek to further pursue in promoting our IFC with a compelling value proposition and an innovative and diverse toolbox of financial products and services towards long-term sustainable growth. Our focus remains on maintaining our competitive edge against a robust legal and compliance framework providing investors with added comfort and confidence in using Mauritius as a leading hub for their investments.”
As per the latest ESAAMLG plenaries, Mauritius has been re-rated upward on three recommendations of the FATF, which results in Mauritius being compliant with 39 out of 40 recommendations. With regards to Recommendation 15 (New Technologies) where Mauritius is still rated as Partially Compliant, the authorities in Mauritius have circulated a draft Virtual Assets Business Bill for consultation in view of seeking the views/comments from the financial services industry stakeholders. Mauritius will be the only country in the world to achieve full compliance to all the FATF recommendations if (and when) the Recommendation 15 is re-rated positively.
The exit of Mauritius from the FATF grey list reinforces its position as a jurisdiction of substance, offering a conducive environment for business, with robust legislations and an innovative product offering for the global financial community.