Within the next two weeks we anticipate that the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), an agency within the US Department of the Treasury, will issue regulations applying the Bank Secrecy Act’s compliance provisions to dealers in antiquities. Congress has mandated that FinCEN issue these regulations as part of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020, which was enacted on January 1, 2021.
This will be the first time that the US Government has imposed a regulatory framework on any art market participant. Dealers in antiquities will now be treated like financial institutions for purposes of implementing protocols designed to prevent money laundering, terrorist funding and other illicit financial activity. These regulations will represent a sea change in law enforcement’s efforts to shed light on an otherwise opaque market. Every art market participant should take careful note of these regulations once they are issued, as they portend future regulation governing the art market as a whole.
We have been preparing for this day for some time now and have you covered. Our team is well-versed in these developments and will be able to guide you through all of the legal and logistical aspects of anti-money laundering compliance as soon as the regulations are published. Stay tuned for a roadmap in January on how to proceed as soon as the new AML regulations are implemented.