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In accordance with APG membership rules, on joining the APG, members commit to a mutual peer review system to determine the levels of compliance with the international AML/CFT standards. These peer reviews are referred to as “mutual evaluations”.
A mutual evaluation involves a desk-based review of the member’s AML/CFT system as well as an on-site visit to the APG member by a team of experts from other APG members and the APG Secretariat, and includes:
- legal experts;
- financial and regulatory experts; and
- law enforcement experts.
To qualify as an assessor, delegates from APG members must undertake and successfully complete a training course in the FATF 2013 Methodology prior to the on-site visit.
The APG has conducted two rounds of evaluations since 1997. The second round commenced in 2005 and concluded in July 2012 under the FATF’s 2004 methodology. A new round commenced in 2014 under the FATF’s revised 2012 standards and 2013 methodology. Unlike the previous methodology the 2013 rules combine an assessment of:
- First, the “technical” compliance of an APG member’s system with the FATF Recommendations; and
- Secondly, the “effectiveness” of that AML/CFT regime.
The technical component assesses members’ compliance with the specific requirements of each of the FATF Recommendations, principally as they relate to the relevant legal and institutional framework of the jurisdiction, and the powers and procedures of competent authorities. These represent the fundamental building blocks of an AML/CFT system.
The effectiveness component assesses the extent to which a jurisdiction achieves a defined set of outcomes that are central to a robust AML/CFT system and analyses the extent to which a jurisdiction’s legal and institutional framework is producing the expected results.