On 10 April, BaFin (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht BaFin) issued a new Circular (Circular 03/2017) on anti-money laundering  (AML) related requirements of video identification procedure.

BaFin states that the video identification procedure may be applied by all persons who are defined as obligated persons according to the German Money-Laundering-Act (GwG) and who are under the supervision of BaFin. Thus, in particular Capital Investment Management Companies may use the video identification procedure.

Pursuant to Circular 04/2016 on AML related video identification procedures, the application of video identification was supposed to be limited exclusively to credit institutions within the meaning of section 1 para. 1 of the German Banking Act. BaFin justified this limitation following the Basel Committee’s revision of its guidelines of the Opening of Banking Accounts and of Customer Identification and, based thereon, by the increase of AML related security standards for the identification according to the GwG.

However, the applicability of Circular 04/2016 has been suspended by BaFin-Announcements of 11 June 2016 and 19 October 2016 initially until the end of 2016 and then until the publication of the new Circular 03/2017. Circular 04/2016 has been rescinded upon the publication of Circular 03/2017.

Circular 03/2017 will enter into force on 15 June 2017. Until then, Circular 04/2016 will apply.