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Is the APG an international body like the UN?
The APG is an inter-governmental “task force” consisting of 41 member jurisdictions regionally focused within the Asia-Pacific. As a task force, it is not established by international convention or treaty, or any other such legal instrument. Instead, and by agreement of all of its member jurisdictions under the APG Terms of Reference 2012, APG members come together on an ad hoc basis (similar to the FATF) and take action collectively on a consensus basis to address the crimes of money laundering (and the associated predicate crimes) as well as terrorist financing. The APG does this in a variety of ways. See below on the “role of the APG”.
What is the role of the APG?
The APG’s Terms of Reference and Strategic Plan set out the APG’s purpose and functions. The APG has five primary functions:
- Mutual evaluations: assess compliance by APG members with the global AML/CFT standards through a mutual evaluation (peer review) programme;
- Technical assistance and training: coordinate bi-lateral and donor-agency technical assistance and training in the Asia/Pacific region in order to improve compliance by APG members with the global AML/CFT standards;
- Typologies research: conduct research and analysis into money laundering and terrorist financing methods to better inform APG members and the general public of trends, methods, risks and vulnerabilities of the financial and non-financial sectors to these crimes;
- Global policy development: participate in, and contribute to, policy development of the international AML/CFT standards by active participation in the global network of FSRBs; and
- Private sector engagement: provide information the private sector to better inform them of international developments in AML/CFT and provide a forum for them to engage with the APG.
The APG also assists its members to establish national coordination mechanisms to better utilise resources to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
What is the role of APG members and APG observers?
APG members are jurisdictions within the Asia-Pacific region. Together, all members of the APG are the decision-making authority on all issues of strategic and operational significance.
APG observers can be either jurisdictions or international/regional organisations. To become an observer jurisdiction, the candidate government must make some commitments to the APG as an organisation including full commitment to implement the FATF standards without exception, even though at the time of joining as an observer no implementation of those standards may have started. APG observer organisations are those organisations that have an interest or role in AML/CFT within the Asia-Pacific region. Neither category of observer in the APG has a say in the management or decisions of the organisation but it is recognised that their participation is nevertheless important to the overall objectives of the organisation.
Can individual persons join the APG as members?
No. The APG is not a club or private organisation. It is an inter-governmental organisation. Membership is open only to jurisdictions within the region through unequivocal commitment expressed at the Ministerial level of APG members’ governments.
Does the APG provide technical assistance and training?
The APG is not a technical assistance provider, but coordinates technical assistance and training in AML/CFT, and provides practical support to APG members and observer jurisdictions in the region.
Does the APG investigate money laundering cases?
The APG is not an investigative body and is therefore unable to take any action on these matters.
Who is the APG accountable to?
The APG is accountable to its membership. There is an Annual Meeting each year for members to discuss and approve the business plan and budget for the work of the APG. In addition, the APG publishes an Annual Report, including audited financial statements.
Does the APG issue AML ‘certificates’ or other verification services?
The APG (and any other similar international body) does not provide any such services nor does it request fees or have the power to block any account or issue any ‘certificates’ for anti-money laundering or terrorist financing compliance. In addition, the APG is not a law enforcement agency and does not maintain any regional office or employees outside its Secretariat in Sydney.
Any approach using the APG’s name in relation to payment of fees or release of funds is fraudulent and should be reported to law enforcement authorities in the recipient’s home jurisdiction.