Costa Rica: New obligations to SUGEF for activities described in Articles 15 and 15 bis of Act 7786

Circular SGF-1153-2020 sets out the steps to be followed by institutions registered with SUGEF which carry out some of the following activities described in Articles 15 and 15 bis of Act 7786, and which include: developers of real estate projects, brokers, intermediaries, promoters, dealers in precious metals and stones, casinos, non-profit organizations sending or receiving money from jurisdictions internationally classified as at risk, trust service providers, physical or legal persons who i) grant credit facilities, ii) carry out transactions for their clients of purchase and sale of real estate, iii) money management, pawnbrokers, money remittance from one country to another, are determined a categorization, this is important because it will establish differentiated responsibilities and obligations, according to their nature, size, structure, number of operations, number of employees, transaction volume and risk exposure factors.

 

I. Information to be provided on the Sugef Directo website

  1. Number of employees: with whom the registered subject has at the cut-off date, whether they are direct or subcontracted.
  2. Customers: both regular and occasional, national or foreign, with whom the registered party has maintained a business relationship during the last twelve months or fraction of time, in case the regulated party has less than one year of operations.
  3. Branches: agencies, payment points and main office, whether national or foreign.
  4. Payment instruments: whether cash or cross-border money.
  5. Exclusive use accounts: the account(s) of exclusive use for the activity must be selected; for this purpose the system will show all the accounts opened by the regulated entity in the National Financial System. In the case of subjects registered under Article 15 of Act 7786, all accounts opened in their name will be selected automatically.

II. Responsible Person: The person responsible for sending the information may be: i) the person who carried out the registration process, ii) the legal representative in the case of a legal entity, iii) a proxy of the registered subject. The registered subjects may designate another person to send the information, for which they must be duly authorized in the system. It is an indispensable requirement that the person carrying out the process has the digital signature certificate.

 

III. When: The information for the year 2020 should be sent in two moments: in May and in October. Information sent in May will be cut off in March, and information sent in October will be cut off in September. Mandatory subjects who register with SUGEF after September 2020 must provide the information, with a cut-off on the last day of the month in which they register, within 10 working days after the cut-off.

Likewise, it is established that registered subjects must update the information every six months, with a cut-off date of March and September of each year, within the first fifteen working days of the following month, that is, in April and October respectively.

 

IV. Categorization: The SUGEF will communicate for the first time to the registered subject the corresponding category during the month of November 2020, through the e-mail provided by the obligated subject. In the case of registered subjects who carry out more than one activity under Articles 15 and 15 bis of Law 7786, the category with the highest rating shall prevail. This categorization will remain in effect from January 1, 2021 until December 2022.

When the registered subject does not provide the information required for its categorization or submits it incompletely, the highest weighting will be temporarily assigned to the information that was not provided, until the registered subject submits the corresponding information that allows the SUGEF to assign the respective weighting according to the data provided.

The categorization process will be carried out every two years with a cut-off date of September and will be notified no later than November; this category will be in effect from January of the following year during the two-year period, unless changes are made to the information of the registered subject that modify its category, due to changes in the categorization model or as a result of the supervision process.

For regulated entities that register on intermediate dates, their categorization will be communicated to them no later than during the month following their registration and will be effective until the next biannual categorization.

 

V. Designation of the Compliance Officer or Liaison Person

a. Prior to category notification:

All subjects registered with SUGEF on August 31, 2020 must designate at least one liaison person, within 10 working days from September 1, 2020.
Subjects who register between September 1 and November 30, 2020, have 10 business days to appoint a liaison from the time of registration.
In the case of subjects registered under Article 15 of Law 7786, they must keep the Compliance Officer appointed until this Superintendency informs him/her of their category.


b. After notification of the category:

Registered parties whose resulting category is Type 1 must notify the SUGEF of the appointment of the Compliance Officer within 10 working days after notification of their category.
Subjects whose resulting category is Type 2 or Type 3 may either maintain the previous appointment or designate a new liaison person.

 

VI. Suspension of registration: in the event of failure to provide the information, SUGEF has the power to suspend or revoke the registration of the registered subject, with the consequent inability of the National Financial System to provide the service.

 

VII. Regulation: as from 1 December 2020, the Regulation for Prevention of the Risk of Money Laundering, Financing of Terrorism and Financing of the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, applicable to regulated entities under Articles 15 and 15 bis of Act 7786, SUGEF Agreement 13-19, comes into force, and all registered entities must comply with the obligations laid down in these Regulations, according to the resulting category.

 

Any doubt or query please contact Daniela Díaz Polo at ddiaz@consortiumlegal.com

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