The National Defense Authorization Act was enacted on January 1, 2021, after the US Senate joined the House of Representatives in overriding a presidential veto of the bill. In addition to authorizing appropriations for the Department of Defense, the new law also contains several provisions designed to improve policies and procedures aimed at policing money laundering and terrorism financing.

One of the new provisions amends the anti-money laundering (AML) law, commonly called the Bank Secrecy Act, by expanding the definition of “financial institution” to include “dealers in antiquities” and requiring the Secretary of the Treasury, through the US AML agency, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), to issue regulations imposing AML compliance requirements on these businesses.

In a new legal update, “Antiquities dealers, advisors, and consultants to be subject for the first time to anti-money laundering rules,”   Andrius R. Kontrimas, Partner in the Norton Rose Fulbright Houston office and the firm’s Global Head of Tax, Mayling C. Blanco, Partner in the Norton Rose Fulbright New York City office, Robert J. Kovacev, Partner in the Norton Rose Fulbright Washington, DC and San Francisco offices, and Lacey Stevenson, Associate in the Norton Rose Fulbright Dallas office, discuss this addition to the AML law and its significance.

We also have blog posts on other AML provisions in the new law, on the new requirement that nonpublic companies report their beneficial owners to FinCEN, and new whistleblower provisions for reporting AML violations.