Captains of yachts need to be aware of new rules and regulations being imposed by the Government of Italy in a bid to clamp down on Money Laundering Schemes.
The Italian Economy and Finance Ministry recently issued a circular (n. 033/2012) on the application of anti-money laundering regulations governing the carriage and transfer of cash on board vessels in Italian waters.
As of 21 June 2012, these regulations are applicable to all vessels, including both commercial and private yachts, while in Italian waters.
1) Require the individual (captain, crew, and passengers) entering and exiting Italy by vessel with cash equal or greater than 10,000 Euro to present a customs declaration to the relevant authorities at the entrance point or exit point of the country, depending if they are entering or exiting the country.
2) Prohibit money transfers for any reason and by any individuals when the value of the operation is summarily greater than or equal to 1000 Euro. This prohibition extends to lower payments where the 1000 Euro threshold is artificially split. This means, for example, that a captain cannot pay cash to the crew for monthly salary or for technical or shore services or that an agent cannot provide money to a Captain, if the amount is greater than or equal to 1,000 Euro.
Allow for transactions (such as for the payment of crew salary/services/provisions) that exceed the 1,000 Euro limit by using traceable means. Receipts of all such money transfers should be kept to show authorities should there be a custom’s check.
The Italian authorities are actively imposing fines for violation of the requirements.