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Act on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing (wet ter voorkoming van witwassen en financiering terrorisme, the "Wwft")

 

On 1 August 2008 the Act on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing has been into force. In support of the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism, the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act applies to the provision of services lawyers (and others).

 

Client identification requirements

On the basis of this act, lawyers are obliged to identify the client prior to establishing a business relationship (exceptions sometimes apply).Identification of local legal entities can be established on the basis of an excerpt from the trade register or a deed executed by a civil law notary.

Identification of foreign legal entities can be established on the basis of an excerpt from the trade register of the country of origin and on the basis of other documents generally accepted in international business and acknowledged as a valid means of identification in the entity‘s country of origin. Further it is required to ask for the name and date of birth of the person representing the client.

If applicable, both for local and foreign legal entities the ultimate beneficial owner has to be identified. This is the natural person who, directly or indirectly, owns more than 25% of the entit(y)(ies) or otherwise has control over the client. 

 

Identification of natural persons can be established on the basis of a valid passport or other lawful means of identification.