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Compliance consultants CCL are advising the trade that any business taking cash for goods such as precious stones, metals and works of art will be required to put in place the same anti-money laundering systems as firms in the financial services industry and will need to be registered with Customs & Excise.

CCL say that, while the final legislation is yet to be published, it is highly unlikely that the proposals, issued for consultation by the Treasury in November last year, will change.

Conditions of accepting cash transactions above the threshold include introducing procedures to Know Your Customer, to keep adequate records, to train staff and to report suspicions of money laundering to the authorities.

For companies failing to comply with the legislation, there will be significant penalties, ranging from a £5000 fine for failing to register, to 14 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine for assisting in money laundering or terrorist activities.

Ralph Lindeyer, principal at CCL Compliance Consultants said: “It is extremely important that newly regulated businesses understand and comply with the new law. “However, there is no need for panic. In many cases anti-money laundering systems are based on common sense and good business practice. With quality advice and training the new regulations need not be onerous.”