Politically Active Foreign Citizens in Georgia will Have to Make their Business Activities Transparent

The bill of amendments to the law on Support of Prevention of Legalization of Illegal Income obliges foreign citizens, who are engaged in active political life of Georgia, to make their business activities and bank accounts transparent.

The finance and budget committee of the Parliament of Georgia discussed the bill at the February 4 meeting.

The bill has been developed by recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Vakhtang Balavadze, the chairman of the finance and budget committee says.

Under the bill, the concept of a politically active body implies a foreign citizen, who occupies a certain state political position in compliance with the legislature of the corresponding country or carries out significant state and political engagements. The concept names a country president, a government head and government members, deputy government heads, heads of state departments, MPs, commanders of armed forces, members of the Central Bank Board, ambassadors, heads of the enterprises with state stakes, heads of political parties and members of executive bodies of political parties, as well as other significant public figures, their family members.

The bill says that individuals of the mentioned category are considered as politically active persons even within one year after resignation. Under the bill, the so-called Monitoring Enforcer Bodies will define whether this or that person belongs to the politically active category.

“If the persons occur politically active, the monitoring enforcer must ask permission from the superior to set up business relations”, Balavadze says.

Under the bill, the monitoring enforcer bodies are commercial banks, currency exchangers, nonbank deposit institutions and microfinance organizations, brokerage companies and securities registries,, insurance companies and non-state pension scheme organizations, money transfer companies, lottery and other gambling companies, customs bodies, charity and grant issuer organizations, notaries and the National Agency of Public Registry (NAPR).