On September 5, 2023, through agreement 476 of the Attorney General’s Office of the Republic of El Salvador, reforms for the Instructive for Prevention, Detection and Control of Money and Asset Laundering, Financing of Terrorism and Financing of Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction were approved, such reforms will come into effect 8 days after its publication on the Official Gazette, among the most relevant are:
Internal Audit Responsibilities – (Reform to Art. 8)
As of this reform, the Internal Audit of the Obligated Subject will be the one who must evaluate at least once a year the compliance and effectiveness of the applicable standards, policies, and related procedures, having to issue a report on the results of the evaluation to the higher hierarchy of the governing body.
Furthermore, establishing that in the case of not having an Internal Auditor, the evaluation must be carried out by the External Auditor appointed in accordance with the provisions of the Commercial Code, who must issue a report by means of a Management Letter.
Compliance Report – (Reform to Art. 9)
This reform modifies its application exclusively to the Obligated Subjects that are supervised by the Superintendency of the Financial System, who through an External Auditor, must carry out an annual evaluation of the management and the legal provisions applicable to the prevention of risks of Money and Asset Laundering, Financing of Terrorism and Financing of Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, which must be reported to the Board of Directors, to the Senior Management and to the Compliance Officer.
Verification of the identity of the client or user – (Reform to Art. 12)
Establishing that the verification of the identity of the client or user must be carried out before starting the commercial relationship, which must be done through official documents issued by the competent public authorities or documents duly registered in the Registry of Commerce.
Identity of the Final Beneficiary and Beneficiaries of insurance policies – (Addition of Art. 21-A and 21-B)
These 2 new articles establish the requirements and measures that the Obligated Subjects must take to identify and verify the identity of the Final Beneficiaries and Beneficiaries of insurance policies.
Requirements for the Compliance Officer – (Reform to Art. 72)
A new subsection is incorporated, which reduces the requirements for some Compliance Officers depending on the Obligated Subject, eliminating the requirement of having an academic degree at the university level from the Compliance Officer´s profile for the vast majority of Obligated Subjects, maintaining said requirement, along with the rest of the originally established requirements, only for the following Obligated Subjects: microfinance companies, credit systems and non-banking financial intermediaries, credit card issuing companies, co-issuers and related groups, persons who carry out systematic or substantial transfers of funds, casinos and gambling houses, metals and precious stones merchandisers, and real estate companies and intermediaries.