How to apply for an AML/CFT ministerial exemption

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Before you start

To apply for a ministerial exemption, you’ll need to provide detailed answers to all the questions in this section.

If you provide incomplete or insufficient information, your application will be rejected. If it is, you may resubmit an application with more detail. However, you'll have to wait longer for a decision, so try to ensure you provide all the necessary information first time round.

While preparing your application, you should consider the AML/CFT Act and information provided by government agencies about the risks your sector faces. Material about sector risks is available from the government agency that supervises your sector.

You may also want to seek independent advice from an independent AML/CFT expert before applying.

What information should I include in an application?

Every application must include at least the following information.

Who is applying?

Give the full name, address and corporate status of the persons seeking the exemption. You must include your NZBN. You must provide an overview of your business, including key office holder and major shareholders. You should also provide information on any associated corporate entities (parent or subsidiary) or unincorporated bodies, such as partnerships and unincorporated joint ventures.

Is the exemption for a reporting entity or a transaction?

The application should clearly state whether the proposed exemption relates to a reporting entity or class of entity; a transaction or class of transaction; or a class exemption?

What do you want an exemption from?

Give the provisions of the Act and/or regulations you believe you should be exempt from, and any conditions of exemption you consider appropriate.

Describe the circumstances in which the exemption would apply

Describe the reporting entity or transaction, and circumstances in which the exemption is sought.

Why are you seeking this exemption?

Explain, for each provision of the Act or regulations that you want to be exempt from, why you want it. You must also give full and detailed reasons why it’s justified and provide evidence to support your statements.

Describe the existing money laundering and terrorist financing risks related to your business/application

To help businesses understand the risks they face, the supervisors and the Police Financial Intelligence Unit provide sector risk assessments and typology reports (a typology is an example of types of money laundering or terrorism financing). You must demonstrate that you’ve considered the risks and issues facing your sector, product or service, how they relate to your application and how you’ll manage them.

What effects will the exemption have on your business?

Describe the effects on your business, and the relative costs and benefits, of both having and not having the exemption. If the exemption is granted and you’ll still face some money laundering and terrorist financing risks, describe how you’ll manage them. You’ll need to support your statements with evidence.

What effects will there be on your competitors or other third parties?

Describe how your proposed exemption may affect other firms operating in your industry and describe any competitive effects. If the application is granted, discuss whether any third party’s rights may be adversely or favourably affected and, if so, how.

Is the exemption consistent with the intent and purpose of the AML/CFT Act and any regulations?

You should consider the matters that underpin the AML/CFT regime and comment on:

  • whether the proposed exemption is compliant with international obligations relating to anti-money laundering and terrorist financing
  • whether the exemption can be justified on the basis of a cost, benefit and risk analysis
  • whether the proposed exemption is compatible with Australian regulatory requirements
  • whether the proposed exemption is consistent with AML/CFT legislation in other Financial Action Task Force member countries.

Are there any precedents?

Identify if there are any existing exemptions similar to the exemption you’re seeking, in New Zealand and other jurisdictions. State how the existing exemption is similar to, and different from, your own circumstances.

Check the list of granted exemptions 

Does your reporting entity undertake prescribed transactions?

The following questions have been added to help the Ministry of Justice understand whether the reporting entity undertakes prescribed transactions as per Subpart 2A of the Act. Please answer these questions by YES or NO. If the answer is NO, please provide a brief reason why these transactions would not be conducted through the reporting entity.

In the course of the reporting entities' business:

  • does the reporting entity order international wire transfers to the value of $1,000 or more?
  • does the reporting entity receive international wire transfers to the value of $1,000 or more?
  • would a person conduct a domestic cash transaction of $10,000 or more through the reporting entity?

For definitions of the terminology used above, please refer to the Act and associated Regulations.

Supporting documents

Make sure you provide relevant supporting material, including evidence to support your statements and conclusions.

Please include any assessment of the level of money laundering and terrorism financing risk related to your activities or the particular transactions that you’re seeking an exemption for. Take into account any relevant Financial Action Task Force publications or guidance, or guidance issued by the relevant AML/CFT supervisor or the Police Financial Intelligence Unit.

Statutory declaration

Your application must include a statutory declaration which states that:

  • the information provided is true and correct
  • the Ministry may seek and share information related to the exemption application, and
  • the applicant will inform the Ministry within 10 working days of becoming aware of any material change in circumstance that may impact on the Ministry’s analysis of the application or of the Minister’s consideration of the exemption.

The declaration must be signed by each applicant in front of a person who is authorised to take declarations (such as a Justice of the Peace).

Making a statutory declaration(external link)

How to submit your application

Email your application to:


You can post your application, but it will take us longer to process. Our mailing address is:

International Criminal Law Team
Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
Ministry of Justice
The Vogel Centre 19 Aitken Street
PO Box 180 Wellington


We process applications as quickly as possible.

Timeframes for processing, assessing and making decisions about applications depend on factors such as the number of applications we receive, how complex the issues they raise are, and the quality of information provided.

You must comply with the AML/CFT Act until an exemption is granted.