How to Apply

Any Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) which considers itself to comply with the criteria of the Egmont Group of being a national centre for the receipt and analysis of STRs and other relevant information, and for the dissemination of the results of that analysis, is eligible to apply to become an Egmont Group member FIU. There are several stages in the membership process:

Step 1: Application

An Expression of Interest (EOI) should be submitted to the Executive Secretary of the Egmont Group Secretariat (EGS), using a template for the membership request letter available on the Egmont Group public website, and should consist of the following:

  • Letter of request;
  • Copies of AML-CFT legislation, and other relevant documents pertaining to the establishment of the FIU, translated into the English language; and
  • General information on the FIU.

Step 2: Identifying Sponsor FIUs

The EGS will submit the EOI documents to the Chair of the Membership, Support & Compliance Working Group (MSCWG) and the Egmont Regional Representative(s) for the region in which the applicant FIU is located. The MSCWG will discuss the potential sponsor options, in close consultation with the applicant FIU, noting that a Sponsor FIU’s task is to guide and support the applicant FIU in the process to become an Egmont member.

Sponsor FIUs must already be Egmont Group members and must be members of the MSCWG.  After confirming each Sponsor FIU, the Chair of the MSCWG will write back to the applicant FIU (with a copy to EGS and the Regional Representative) to inform the FIU of the Egmont members who have agreed to sponsor their Egmont Group membership process.

Step 3: Monitoring Phase

The monitoring process by the Sponsors will include reviewing the information provided in the EOI and collecting basic information such as additional contact details, confirming the level of interest from the FIU in joining the Egmont Group, any additional information on the status and operation of the FIU and any further relevant legislation or regulatory material.

The monitoring activities will be ongoing and may include providing technical advice and assistance, as well as additional information about the Egmont Group. There is no fixed period, or specified procedures to be followed for this monitoring phase. In addition,   mutually agreed onsite visits can also form part of the monitoring activities.

The Sponsors will be the official and main Egmont Group contact point for the applicant FIU during this period. Any correspondence between the Egmont Group and the applicant FIU during this period should go through these Sponsors.

Step 4: Preparation for the final Onsite Visit

When the sponsors identify that the time is appropriate for a (final) onsite visit to confirm the operational and the legal status of the FIU, they will inform the Chair of the MSCWG of the planned onsite visit dates, and forward any other relevant documents or legislation to the Chair of the MSCWG. 

Sponsors must receive approval from the Chair of the MSCWG to conduct the (final) onsite visit.  Upon receipt of approval to conduct the (final) onsite visit, the EGS will send the Egmont Group Questionnaire to the applicant FIU together with the Egmont Group basic documents and an accompanying letter. This letter will inform the candidate that the questionnaire should be returned not later than one week after the onsite visit, and that they will have to commit in writing to the Egmont Charter in the case where the Heads endorse the application. The letter will also inform the candidate on future contribution obligations.

Step 5: Final Onsite Visit
During the onsite visit the Sponsors and applicant FIU will discuss the relevant operational issues. They should also complete the Egmont Group Questionnaire and clarify any issues raised with regard to their legislation. After the final onsite visit the Sponsors will produce an onsite Assessment Report (OAR), which describes their findings and addresses the issues raised in the previous steps. The report should present a clear conclusion expressing whether or not the applicant FIU meets the legal and operational status criteria for membership consideration, and must remain confidential and not be disclosed to the applicant FIU.

Step 6: After the Final Onsite Visit

During the subsequent WG meetings after the final onsite visit, the MSCWG will discuss the candidate’s application and the Sponsors’ findings in relation to the operational and legal aspects. Candidates that are considered for the first time by the Working Groups cannot be recommended to the Heads of FIU during the same session. Consequently, Heads of FIU only consider candidates that have already been examined by Working Groups, at least, during their previous session.

During the course of the WG meetings, the MSCWG Chair and Vice-Chair will consult the WG members and discuss any concerns, questions and conclusions. Immediate additional clarification may also be sought from, and feedback provided. If, by the end of the WG meetings, the MSCWG has reached a positive conclusion, the Chair and Vice Chair will recommend that the membership application be put to the Heads of FIUs.

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 an Egmont Group Plenary session. An invitation to the applicant FIU should be seen as encouragement to an applicant FIU to continue their pursuit of Egmont membership. The FIU needs to take into consideration that this invitation does not grant it a “standing invitation” within the Egmont Group and neither does it provide any guarantees on pending membership decisions.

The applicant FIU will be informed by the EGS which sessions it will be able to attend at the Egmont Group Plenary are able to attend.

Step 8: Acceptance by the Heads of FIUs

Subject to the Heads of FIUs endorsing the recommendation of the MSCWG, the applicant becomes a full Egmont member FIU.  Membership shall be effective upon committing in writing to the Egmont Group Charter. The new member will, at the same time, receive information from the EGS on its annual membership contribution and the process for connection to the Egmont Secure Website (ESW).