Transitional arrangement for money service operator licensing regime to end on May 30

20 May 2012

Remittance agents and money changers (RAMCs) who wish to continue the operation of their business must apply for a money service operators (MSO) licence from the Commissioner of Customs and Excise on or before May 30 this year.

The Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) has established the Money Service Supervision Bureau (MSSB) to administer the MSO licensing regime and supervise licensees' compliance with the requirements under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Financial Institutions) Ordinance (Cap 615) (AMLO), a spokesman for the C&ED said today (May 20).

The MSSB has been receiving applications for MSO licences since April 1, 2012, when the AMLO commenced operation.

The AMLO provides for a transitional arrangement for RAMCs who were registered with the Joint Financial Intelligence Unit of the Hong Kong Police Force. They are allowed to continue the operation of their business until May 30 or, if they have lodged an application for a licence during the transitional period (by May 30), until the application is granted, refused or withdrawn.

"We would like to remind RAMCs who have not yet applied for an MSO licence to submit their applications as early as possible before the deadline of May 30, 2012, if they wish to continue their business," the spokesman said.

The application form is available at the C&ED's website at or at the MSSB office at the following address:

Customs and Excise Department
Money Service Supervision Bureau
Units 1218-22, 12/F, Nan Fung Commercial Centre
19 Lam Lok Street
Kowloon Bay

The duly completed application form together with the supporting documents (copies only) should be submitted to the above-mentioned MSSB in person or by mail. The application can also be submitted through the electronic licensing system (Money Service Operators Licensing System) accessible at the C&ED's website.

"Any person operating a money service business in Hong Kong without a licence commits an offence under the AMLO and is liable on conviction to a fine of HK$100,000 and imprisonment for up to six months," the spokesman added.

Ends/Sunday, May 20 2012

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