All legal entities and professional individuals listed under Art. L. 561-2 of the French Financial and Monetary Code are obliged to report suspicious activity to TRACFIN (the French anti-money laundering unit).
Legal entities include the following financial institutions: banking and credit institutions; payment institutions; insurers; benefits and pension institutions; Banque de France (French Central Bank), Institut d’émission des départements d’outre-mer and Institut d’émission d’outre-mer; and investment firms.
‘Professionals’ covers those engaged in non-financial activities: real estate professionals; legal representatives and directors responsible for authorized gaming or betting operators concerning horse races and casinos; companies mentioned in Art. L. 521-3, I of the French Monetary and Financial Code which make available or manage means of payment and those benefiting from the exemption from authorization by the Credit Institutions Committee; chartered accountants and auditors; legal professionals including Avocats au Conseil d’État et à la Cour de cassation (lawyers pleading before the Supreme Courts), avocats (lawyers), notaires (notaries), huissiers de justice (bailiffs), administrateurs judiciaires (court administrators), mandataires judiciaires (judicial representatives) and commissaires-priseurs judiciaires (judicial auctioneers); persons exercising corporate domiciliation activities; and sports agents.
The reporting obligations apply to the above listed entities and professional individuals when the following circumstances occur (Art. L. 561-15 of the French Financial Monetary Code): all activities and monetary sums they know, believe or have reason to believe come from an offense punishable by a prison sentence of more than one year, are linked to terrorism financing; or come from tax fraud (subject to falling under one of the criteria listed in Decree No. 2009-874 of July 16, 2009).
In order to be able to comply with reporting obligations, all entities and professional individuals also have a vigilance obligation (Art. L. 561-5 to L. 561-14-2 of the French Financial Monetary Code) to detect suspicious activities.
Vigilance measures are based on a risk-based approach and standard vigilance. Simplified due diligence measures apply when the risk of money laundering or terrorist financing is low, but additional and enhanced due diligence measures apply when the risk is high. For certain operations an enhanced review must be implemented.
Persons who are not subject to the above reporting obligations of the anti-money laundering and terrorist financing prevention system but who, in the exercise of their profession, carry out, control or advise on transactions involving movements of capital, are required to declare to the Public Prosecutor operations involving sums which they know come from an offense punishable by a prison sentence of at least one year.