Non-profit organisations (NPOs) are recognised for the vital role that they play in communities around the world. While most NPOs are used for legitimate purposes, they can also be used to facilitate illicit activities. The NPO sector globally has been identified as one that is vulnerable to activities of money laundering and terrorist financing.
The Non-Profit Organisations Act, 2012 (the NPO Act) came into effect on 1st January, 2013. The NPO Act seeks to bring NPOs inline with international standards by creating systems for NPOs to be monitored from anti-money laundering (AML) and counter financing of terrorism (CFT) perspectives.
Under the NPO Act, all NPOs operating within the Virgin Islands are required to be registered with the Non-Profit Organisation Registration Board. Details of the registration process and guidelines on the NPO Act can be obtained from the Ministry of Health and Social Development.
Under the NPO Act, the Financial Investigation Agency is responsible for the AML/CFT supervision and monitoring of NPOs in the Virgin Islands. The Agency’s supervisory role is detailed under section 18 of the NPO Act.
NPOs are subject to the requirements of the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Code of Practice, 2008 (the Code). Generally, the Code requires NPOs to establish internal control systems, effective customer/donor due diligence measures, maintain proper records and provide appropriate AML/CFT training for employees and/or volunteers. These requirements should be contained within a formal document called a Compliance Manual. NPOs with more than five employees are required to appoint a Money Laundering Reporting Office (MLRO) who is responsible for AML/CFT compliance. NPOs with five or fewer employees are exempt from the requirement to appoint a MLRO, however, the AML/CFT compliance functions must still be performed.
The Agency is committed to providing the necessary support and guidance to NPOs in order to ensure that the sector and the Territory are fully compliant with international AML/CFT standards. The following documents are available on our website:
- A template compliance manual
A compliance manual checklist
NPOs are encouraged to review these documents and also to familiarise themselves with the NPO Act, the Code and the other AML/CFT laws.