Your Guide to FATF Compliance in 2023: Navigating the FATF Travel Rule in the UK GB



In the fast-paced world of cryptocurrencies, regulations play a pivotal role in ensuring transparency and security within the industry. Among the recent developments in cryptocurrency compliance, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Travel Rule stands out as a significant milestone. To help you navigate the complexities of this rule, we present the ultimate guide to compliance in the UK for 2023.

Understanding the FATF Travel Rule

The FATF Travel Rule, introduced in 2019, is a global initiative to combat money laundering and ensure cryptocurrency transactions’ traceability. Under this rule, Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) and financial institutions involved in virtual asset (VA) transfers are required to collect and share the personal data of both senders and recipients in transactions. This rule is commonly referred to as Recommendation 16.

Initially applicable only to financial institutions, the FATF extended the Travel Rule to include VASPs. These VASPs encompass any entity, natural or legal, engaged in various activities on behalf of others, such as exchanging virtual assets for fiat currencies, handling different forms of virtual assets, transferring virtual assets, safeguarding and managing virtual assets, and offering financial services related to virtual asset issuance and sales.

However, it’s important to note that different countries employ varying terms to define crypto service providers, which include CASPs (Crypto Asset Service Providers), MSBs (money services businesses), and DPT Service Providers, among others.

Global Implementation of the FATF Travel Rule

As part of the global push for enhanced cryptocurrency regulation, members of the FATF and FATF-style regional bodies are gradually integrating the Travel Rule into their respective anti-money laundering (AML) laws. According to a FATF survey conducted in 2023, 35 out of 135 responding jurisdictions have already passed Travel Rule legislation, while 27 jurisdictions have commenced implementing enforcement and supervisory measures.

In the United Kingdom, Regulation 5 concerning crypto asset transfers within the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Regulations came into effect on September 1, 2023. Moreover, the European Union will roll out similar measures beginning December 30, 2024.

The Impact on the Crypto Sector

The introduction of the FATF Travel Rule has sent ripples through the cryptocurrency sector, leading to widespread confusion regarding its implementation and compliance. To address this, let’s delve into the specific requirements outlined by the Travel Rule and explore how businesses can effectively ensure compliance.

Compliance Requirements for VASPs in the UK

Under the new Travel Rule regulations in the UK GB, VASPs, including crypto asset exchange providers and custodian wallet providers, are obligated to adhere to the following steps to achieve compliance:

1. Information Transfer

The originating VASP must provide the name of the originator and beneficiary, their registered or trading name, and account numbers for inter-crypto asset business transfers. If the beneficiary requests additional information, the originating VASP must provide it within 3 days.

2. Verification of Originator Information

Information regarding the originator must be verified by the originating VASP using documents or a reliable, independent source.

3. Verification by Beneficiary VASP

Upon receiving a crypto-asset as part of an inter-crypto asset business transfer, the beneficiary VASP must verify whether it has received the required information and whether it corresponds with the information verified during customer due diligence.

4. Unhosted Wallet Transfers

For unhosted wallet transfers, the customer (originator or beneficiary) may be required to provide additional information if it still needs to be collected. Additionally, if the transaction exceeds the equivalent of 1,000 euros, the beneficiary VASP should gather information about the originator.

5. Reporting of Failures

The beneficiary VASP must report any repeated failure by a crypto-asset business to provide the required information, along with the steps taken by the beneficiary’s crypto-asset business, to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

6. Law Enforcement Cooperation

Crypto-asset businesses must respond promptly to requests from law enforcement authorities for information related to these requirements.


The FATF Travel Rule has ushered in a new era of compliance in the cryptocurrency sector, prompting businesses to adapt to rigorous regulations and ensure the transparency of virtual asset transactions. As the crypto landscape continues to evolve, VASPs and crypto-asset businesses must adhere to these guidelines diligently.

By understanding the intricacies of the Travel Rule and proactively implementing the necessary measures, businesses can achieve compliance and contribute to a safer and more secure crypto ecosystem. As regulations evolve, staying informed and adaptable will be key to thriving in the ever-changing world of cryptocurrencies.

For more detailed guidance and support on navigating the FATF Travel Rule and ensuring compliance in the UK GB, contact IDMERIT today. Your trusted partner in regulatory compliance and identity verification solutions.

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