The constitutional document of the APG is the APG Terms of Reference 2012 (click on "documents" above for a copy) , first adopted by its founding members in 1997 and then substantially amended in July 2012 to reflect a number of changes in the APG including the substantial growth in membership from 1997 to 2012 and to improve the governance arrangements and reporting requirements within the organisation. Founding members were:
The APG Terms of Reference 2012 provide that the APG is voluntary and co-operative in nature. The APG's mandate is fixed by inter-governmental agreement until 2020 to mirror the current mandate of the Financial Action Task Force.
The APG is required to keep itself informed of action taken or formal agreements made by relevant international and regional organisations or bodies in order to promote a consistent global response to money laundering and terrorist financing.
Membership in the APG is based on the Terms of Reference which requires:
It is not a precondition for membership in the APG that anti-money laundering, anti-terrorist financing and/or anti-proliferation financing laws be enacted at the time of membership admission. However, most members will, on joining, have such laws in place and those that do not are required, as a membership obligation, to enact them very shortly after admission.