In recent years, the IMF has become deeply involved in the international movement to prevent the abuse of financial systems and to protect and enhance the integrity of the international financial system. The IMF’s involvement has been expanded beyond anti-money-laundering efforts to include those aimed at combating the financing of terrorism. This handbook will facilitate the provision of relevant technical assistance by providing a compendium of essential materials for officials drafting legislation designed to combat such financing. The relevant international standards and obligations are presented, together with examples of existing legislation designed to meet them. The issues discussed in this book are relevant to all countries, regardless of their individual geopolitical situations.
IMF member countries and other jurisdictions wishing to bring their legislation up to the norms and standards established by the international community in the area of combating the financing of terrorism face a number of choices. The sources of these norms and standards range from legally binding international norms, such as those contained in resolutions of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, and in international conventions, such as the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, to nonbinding standards established by groups of countries acting in concert, such as the Eight Special Recommendations on Terrorism Financing of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). While there is considerable overlap among these sources, their scope varies. Implementation of some of the norms and standards requires legislation, but on many points, implementation can be effected in a number of different ways. As a result, in responding to their international obligations and meeting the standards, countries must make a number of choices as to the scope of the legislation and its contents.
The main sources of international obligations in the combating of the financing of terrorism are the Resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, and in particular, Resolution No. 1373 (2001) (hereinafter “the Resolution”) and the earlier resolutions requiring the freezing of assets of listed terrorists, and the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (hereinafter “the Convention”). In addition to these formal sources of international obligations, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) issued a set of eight Special Recommendations on Terrorist Financing (hereinafter “the Special Recommendations”) on October 30, 2001 and invited all countries to implement them and to report to the FATF on their implementation.
Countries that have already legislated to implement the obligations and standards related to combating the financing of terrorism have done so in many different ways. Some countries have enacted comprehensive legislation that deals with many aspects of combating terrorism and its financing, sometimes going well beyond the international requirements. Others have designed legislation to deal with one or a few of these requirements at a time—for example, adopting legislation dealing specifically with the requirements of the Convention, or those of the Convention and the Resolution taken together.
Authorities wishing to implement the provisions of the Convention and to respond to the requirements of the Resolution would need to consider two separate but related types of conduct regarding the financing of terrorism. One is the financing of terrorist acts, as defined in Article 2 of the Convention. The other is the provision of financial support to terrorists and terrorist organizations, as stated in paragraph 1(d) of the Resolution. While the requirements relating to these forms of conduct are similar, they are not identical, and it will be for the authorities of each country to decide in which way each type of conduct will be characterized in local law.109 Before considering the differences between the two requirements, it should be noted that paragraph 1(b) of the Resolution requires the criminalization of the financing of terrorist acts, using language that is very close to that of the Convention. Read with paragraph 3(d), which calls upon states to become parties to the Convention “as soon as possible,” paragraph 1(b) of the Resolution is a clear reference to criminalization of the financing of terrorist acts as defined in the Convention. It would follow that paragraph 1(d) requires something additional to the criminalization of terrorist acts.
Suppressing the financing of terrorism is an ambitious objective, and success will depend on the ability of states to quickly put in place appropriate legislation as well as adequate enforcement mechanisms. For countries that have already adopted the laws and put in place the necessary enforcement mechanisms to deal with money laundering, the additional legislation to address the financing of terrorism is not considerable, but the additional enforcement mechanisms required to successfully detect, and prosecute financing of terrorism cases may be considerable. For countries that lack both legal and administrative infrastructures, the task may well be more daunting. The IMF (together with the World Bank and many regional organizations) has engaged in programs to assess countries’ AML/CFT legal frameworks and to offer technical assistance to countries that wish to bring their legal frameworks into conformance with current international norms and standards in this regard.