Any Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) is eligible to apply to become an Egmont member FIU, as long as it complies with the FATF recommendations and the Egmont Group’s definition of an FIU.
There are several stages in the membership process:
Step 1: Submit Application
An expression of interest should be submitted to the Executive Secretary of the Egmont Group Secretariat (EGS), which includes:
- Letter of request for Egmont Group membership.
- Copies of AML-CFT legislation, and other relevant documents pertaining to the establishment of the FIU, translated into the English language.
- General information on the FIU.
A template for the membership request letter can be found on the Membership Application Package link (MAP link).
Step 2: Identify Sponsor FIUs
The applicant FIU may be considered for admission as a member of the Egmont Group provided it has at least two Egmont FIU sponsors.
The EGS will submit the applicant’s expression of interest documents to the Chair of the Outreach Working Group (OWG) and the Egmont Regional Representative(s) for the geographical region in which the applicant FIU is located. They will discuss the options and identify two Sponsor FIUs, in consultation with the applicant FIU.
The Chair of the OWG will write to the applicant FIU to officially confirm the sponsoring FIUs.
Step 3: Monitoring Phase
After the sponsoring FIUs have been confirmed, they will initiate a monitoring phase in close consultation with the applicant FIU. The monitoring activity may include collecting basic information, such as additional contact details; confirmation of the level of interest from the unit, or jurisdiction, in joining the Egmont Group; basic information on the operational aspects of the FIU, and any additional legislation or related documentation. The monitoring activities will be ongoing and may also include providing technical advice and assistance, as appropriate, as well as providing additional information about the Egmont Group.
The Chair of the OWG will provide the sponsor FIUs all documentation forwarded by the EGS and any other additional information relating to the applicant FIU. There is no fixed period or specific procedures to be followed for the monitoring phase and mutually agreed onsite visits can also be considered as part of the monitoring activity. Much will depend on the operational status of the applicant FIU, including the available legislative and logistical infrastructure.
The Sponsor FIUs will be the official and main Egmont Group contact point for the applicant FIU during the monitoring phase. Any further correspondence between the Egmont Group and the applicant FIU during this period should go through the Sponsor FIUs.
Step 4: Preparation for the Onsite Visit
An important step in the application process to the Egmont Group is the Onsite Visit. This visit is crucial to confirm the operational status of the applicant FIU.
In preparation for the onsite visit to the applicant FIU, the EGS will submit the Legal Working Group (LWG) Questionnaire to the applicant FIU, requesting it to be finalized and returned not later than one week following the onsite visit. The applicant FIU will also receive information on contribution payment, and other relevant Egmont Group documents to further inform the FIU on the role and responsibilities of an Egmont Group member.
Step5: Final Onsite Visit
The Onsite Visit will be scheduled by the Sponsor FIUs when they will decide that the applicant FIU has been consistently complying with the Egmont criteria and requirements during the monitoring phase The purpose of this visit is not to conduct an assessment of all the relevant AML/CFT institutions of the jurisdiction; rather it is to confirm the operational status of the applicant FIU. A suitable date will be coordinated between the Sponsor FIUs and the applicant and a notice of this date will be given to the Chair of the OWG.
During the onsite visit the Sponsor FIUs and the applicant FIU discuss operational issues. They may also finalize answers to the previously submitted Questionnaire and clarify any issues raised with regard to AML/CFT legislation. After the final onsite visit the Sponsor FIUs will draft a confidential onsite assessment report (OAR), based on a format previously agreed by the Egmont Group, which describes their findings.
Step 6: After the Final Onsite Visit
After the onsite visit, the EGS will compile a comprehensive information package concerning the applicant FIU that includes at least:
- the latest OWG Onsite Assessment Report (OAR) drafted by the Sponsor FIUs;
- the final completed Egmont Group Questionnaire; and
- all relevant legislation and other supporting documents.
This information package is provided to the Chairs and members of the Outreach Working Group (OWG) and the Legal Working Group (LWG) for their consideration. During the next session of the Egmont Working Group meetings, the OWG and LWG each discuss the candidate's application to determine whether the applicant FIU is ready to be recommended for admission to the Egmont Group in front of the Heads of FIUs (H0FIUs.
Step 7: Invitation to the Applicant FIU to Attend the Egmont Plenary
The Sponsor FIUs may recommend that the Egmont Group invite an applicant FIU to attend the Egmont Group Annual Plenary. During the application process there are two ways that an applicant FIU can be invited to the Egmont Plenary: either as an Observer, or as a Candidate FIU.
An invitation as an Observer FIU should be seen as encouragement to the applicant FIU to continue pursuing membership at the Egmont Group. The FIU should note that this invitation does not grant it a permanent "observer status" with the Egmont Group, nor does it provide any guarantees on pending membership decisions.
The applicant FIU will be able to attend any scheduled training and open plenary sessions, however the Working Groups and the Heads of FIUs meetings are only open for Egmont member FIUs. As an Observer FIU, the applicant will have the opportunity to meet with the FIU community by participating in the events (including social activities) during the plenary week.
An invitation to attend the Egmont Plenary as a Candidate indicates that the nomination of the applicant FIU as Egmont member will be discussed by the Heads of FIUs during that plenary period. In addition to the invitation letter and information on the plenary program, the applicant FIU will receive a model Charter Commitment letter. The invitation letter informs the applicant FIU that it will have to commit in writing to the Egmont Charter in the case where the Heads endorse its application.
Should the Heads of FIUs agree to accept the applicant FIU as a new Egmont member, it will then be able to participate in the remainder of the Heads of FIUs meeting as a full Egmont member. In the event that the Heads cannot reach consensus on the recommendation, the membership decision will be postponed until the next annual plenary. Further assistance and monitoring will then take place over the period until the next plenary. The Sponsor FIUs will maintain contact with the applicant FIU for further guidance, as well as to inform the applicant FIU regularly on the progress of its membership application.
Step 8: Acceptance by the Heads of FIUs
In the case where the Heads of FIUs endorse the FIU's membership recommendation, the applicant becomes an Egmont member FIU. This membership will be effective upon committing in writing to the Egmont Charter. The new member will, at the same time, receive information from the EGS on its annual membership contribution and connection to the Egmont Secure Website (ESW). Official signature of the Charter document by new member FIUs may be submitted to the EGS later if officials at the plenary are not authorized to sign at that moment.