On August 20, the Executive, through Measure Nº 893, transferred the Council of Financial Activities Control (Coaf for its acronym in Portuguese) which was under the wing of the Ministry of Economy, to the Central Bank. The text also revokes the requirement for the anti-money laundering council to be composed solely of public officials. The measure must be analyzed by Congress to acquire full force of law.
The former Financial Control Council, renamed the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF), is responsible for producing and managing financial information to prevent and combat money laundering, terrorist financing and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as promoting institutional dialogue with related national, foreign and international bodies and entities.
The transfer of the UIF to the Central Bank reflects the aim of endowing it with technical and operational autonomy, as it will now answer to the Central Bank Board of Directors, although it may receive “administrative support” from the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Justice during the transition period.
The measure dictates that the body be composed of a minimum of eight and a maximum of fourteen councillors chosen from Brazilian citizens who have “an impeccable reputation and recognized expertise in the field of preventing and combating money laundering, financing terrorism or financing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”
In Brazil, such Executive measures have the force of law from the moment they are published in the Official Gazette. Subsequently, Congress has up to 120 days to ratify the measure, approving the text as sent by the government or modifying its content. If the measure is not approved within that period, it loses its validity.