Money laundering is a process in which criminally obtained assets (e.g. through drug or arms trafficking) are converted into apparently legal assets.
The objective of the AMLA is to detect criminal assets (a legal definition of the term "asset" can be found in Section 1 (7) of the AMLA; please refer to the link under "Legal basis") derived from serious criminal acts in monetary transactions. For this purpose, it is necessary for the legal economic system to take security precautions. This also applies to measures to prevent terrorist financing.
The so-called "non-financial sector" and certain financial enterprises that are not subject to supervision by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) are subject to supervision by state authorities (Section 50 No. 9 GwG). Please refer to the item "Prerequisites" to find out which professional activities and companies are subject to supervision.
The task of the supervisory authorities is to ensure that the obligated parties comply with the statutory requirements under the Money Laundering Act, in particular with regard to internal security measures and due diligence obligations, and to prosecute and punish any administrative offences that are established with probative value.
Some of the due diligence obligations are to be complied with by the obligated companies across the board vis-à-vis all contractual partners. Therefore, they may have an impact on every citizen and consumer. The Money Laundering Act obliges contractual partners to identify themselves on request and, if necessary, to have a copy of their ID produced. Further information, e.g. on the beneficial owner, may also be requested.
To document the information collected, obligated parties are recommended to use the documentation forms available for download under "Forms". Irrespective of this, the Money Laundering Act now gives obligated parties the right and the obligation to make copies of the documents presented for identification or to record them in an optically digitized form. This means that even if the documentation sheet is used, a copy or scan must always be made.