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Obligation to identify

Under the Belgian anti-money laundering legislation (Act of 11 January 1993 on Preventing the Use of the Financial System for Money Laundering) designed to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism, the lawyers (“avocats / advocaten”) must report certain transactions and comply with a number of administrative obligations.

Suspicious transactions must be reported to the Head of the Bar Association, who, in turn, transmits the information to the Cellule de Traitement des Informations Financières / Cel voor Financiële Informatieverwerking. This reporting obligation does however not apply if the situation concerned involves advice regarding or assistance in potential or pending legal proceedings.

In addition, the lawyers have a duty to “identify the clients” (i.e. ascertain the client's identity with supporting documents) in certain types of transactions.

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