A message from Carine Feipel, Chair of ILA

ILA efforts on AML front

A message from Carine Feipel, Chair of ILA

Dear All,

I hope all of you are staying well and healthy.

Since I wrote to you in December about our engagement with the Administration de l’Enregistrement, des Domaines et de la TVA (“AED”), a lot of things have happened at ILA on the AML front and I would like to update you on this topic which I know matters to you.

First of all, we wrote to the AED in December 2020, as I had informed you, stating our position and reasoning about why, most often, directors (in French “administrateurs”) should not be considered as Trust and Company Service Providers (“TCSP”, in French: “prestataires de services aux sociétés et fiducies) and should therefore not have to register as such with the AED. Following such letter, the AED suspended in early January its request for directors to register as TCSP. This was, of course good news and a great satisfaction for the individuals at ILA who had invested a lot of their time in putting together our position and writing a comprehensive paper to the AED.

Second,  bill of law #7736 was filed in Parliament, amending again the AML law. We were concerned by such bill as the governmental comments part of the parliamentary documents underlying the bill referred on one occasion to independent directors being TCSP, without however defining what an independent director is or providing any other explanation. 

Again, our ILA taskforce got active, and produced an excellent opinion paper to such bill. This was shared with the Chamber of Commerce which integrated some of our arguments into its own “Avis” to the bill. The opinion of the Chamber of Commerce is typically a major document in the legislative process and we are proud to be able to partner with the Chamber of Commerce when we choose to comment draft legislation. In addition, we sent our position paper directly to Parliament, as well as to the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Justice which are the two governmental sponsors of the bill. You may be interested in reading such ILA paper which is attached hereto in an English translation. It was posted in French  on our webpage some weeks ago. In the meantime, bill #7736 has been passed into law, without clarifying the position of (independent) directors other than the mentioned single reference to independent directors in the governmental comments.

Third, I am pleased to inform you that we have been able to meet with the AED a couple of weeks ago. The AED informed us that it does not intend to lift the suspension of its request for registration of directors as TCSP until the legal situation regarding directors has been clarified. The arguments we had put forward in our letter to the AED at the end of December seem to have been convincing, and the AED communicated to us that it does not uphold its registration request for now.

We can today not exclude that another bill of law might be presented to clarify what the situation of directors under the AML law should be. We are hopeful that other aspects of directors’ positions including in respect of direct tax and VAT may be streamlined sooner rather than later and we are lobbying to that effect. We have reached out to both the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Justice to exchange with them and we hope to be able to discuss this with them shortly. 

I will, of course, continue to update you on the above matters, if and when appropriate. 

With my best regards

Carine Feipel