Notice for the providers engaged in exchange services between virtual currencies and fiat currencies and custodian wallet providers

The Croatian Financial Services Supervisory Agency (hereinafter: Hanfa) supervises the implementation of the Act on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Official Gazette, No 108/17 and 39/19; hereinafter: the Act) by obliged entities referred to in items 6 to 13 and sub-items k) and l) of item 17 of Article 9(2) of this Act, and branches of equivalent obliged entities from other Member States and third countries established in the Republic of Croatia in accordance with the law governing their operation. The Act Amending the Act on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Official Gazette, No 39/19) added new obliged entities falling within Hanfa’s competence, legal and natural persons engaged in the following activities:

  1. provision of exchange services between virtual currencies and fiat currencies
  2. provision of custodian wallet services. 

Virtual currencies are defined by the Act as a digital representation of value not issued and not guaranteed by a central bank or a public authority, which is not necessarily linked to a legally established currency and does not have the legal status of currency or money, but is accepted by natural or legal persons as a means of exchange and it can be transferred, stored and traded electronically. 

A custodian wallet provider within the meaning of the Act is a legal or natural person providing the service of safekeeping private cryptographic keys on behalf of their clients for the purpose of holding, storing and transferring virtual currencies. 

The provisions of the Act shall apply to new obliged entities as of 1 January 2020.     

Obliged entities engaged in the provision of exchange services between virtual currencies and fiat currencies and/or the provision of custodian wallet services are required to notify Hanfa by 31 January 2020, or no later than 30 days after the date of establishment or registration, of their activities in the provision of exchange services between virtual currencies and fiat currencies and/or the provision of custodian wallet services.

In the event that the obliged entities in question fail to inform Hanfa within the prescribed period of their engagement in the provision of exchange services between virtual currencies and fiat currencies and the provision of custodian wallet services, the Act provides for the misdemeanour liability.

In this regard, Hanfa is calling on all entities providing the above-mentioned services to timely submit the information by filling out the registration form attached hereto by e-mail to spnft@hanfa.hr or by post to Hanfa, Franje Račkoga 6, 10 000 Zagreb.

Furthermore, in order to comply with the provisions of the Act in a timely manner, Hanfa invites entities to submit their questions related to compliance with the provisions of the Act by e-mail to spnft@hanfa.hr.

Link to registration.