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Information for legal entities carrying out the activities of virtual currency exchange operators and (or) depository virtual currency wallet operators in the Republic of Lithuania

The amendments of the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing of the Republic of Lithuania (further on referred to as: the Law) have been made and since 10 January 2020 the Virtual Currency Exchange Operators and Depository Virtual Currency Wallet Operators became subjects to the prevention of money laundering and/or terrorist financing regime.

On 30 June 2022, new provisions were added to the Law, some of which came into force as of 1 November 2022.

Click here to access all amendments to the Law.

 

Virtual currency exchange operator shall mean a legal person who is established in the Republic of Lithuania or who is a branch, established in the Republic of Lithuania, of a legal person of a Member State of the European Union or a foreign state and who provides services of virtual currency exchange, purchase and/or sale for remuneration.

Depository virtual currency wallet operator shall mean a legal person who is established in the Republic of Lithuania or a branch, established in the Republic of Lithuania, of a legal person of a Member State of the European Union or a foreign state and who provides services of management of custodian virtual currency wallets on behalf of the customers. 

The activity of Virtual currency exchange operators and (or) Depository virtual currency wallet operators is not licensed in Lithuania; however, there are mandatory requirements foreseen in the Law:

must inform the manager of the Register of Legal Entities no later than within 5 working days from the start or termination of such activity. By providing this information, the Virtual currency exchange operators and (or) Depository virtual currency wallet operators shall certify that they, or the members of their management or supervisory bodies and beneficiaries, are familiar with and comply with the legislation on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing (request and notification form are available here).  

(as of 1 November 2022) A legal person who has commenced the activity of a Virtual currency exchange operator and (or) Depository virtual currency wallet operator must have a senior manager who is a permanent resident of Lithuania as foreseen in the Law on Personal Income Tax of the Republic of Lithuania.

(as of 1 November 2022) A legal person established in the Republic of Lithuania whose legal form is a public limited liability company or a private limited liability company intending to carry out the activities of the Virtual currency exchange operator and (or) Depository virtual currency wallet operator must hold a registered authorised capital of at least EUR 125 000. A legal person established in the Republic of Lithuania of another legal form or a branch of a legal person of a Member State of the European Union or of a foreign state intending to carry out the activity of a Virtual currency exchange operator and (or) Depository virtual currency wallet operator must hold a guarantee or guarantee document issued by an insurance undertaking for a sum of at least EUR 100 000 per customer claim for indemnity and EUR 500 000 for all customers’ claims for indemnity.

- Virtual currency exchange operators and (or) Depository virtual currency wallet operators must designate senior employees for organising the implementation of money laundering and/or terrorist financing prevention measures specified in the Law and for liaising with the Financial Crime Investigation Service (further on referred to as: the FCIS). Where the Virtual currency exchange operators and (or) Depository virtual currency wallet operators are led by the board, the financial institutions and other obliged entities must designate a member of the board for organising the implementation of money laundering and/or terrorist financing prevention measures specified in the Law and senior employees for liaising with the FCIS. The FCIS must be notified in writing of the designation as well as replacement of such employees and board members not later than within 7 working days from the date of their designation or replacement.

(as of 1 November 2022) The managing staff of the Virtual currency exchange operators and (or) Depository virtual currency wallet operators must not represent more than one Virtual currency exchange operator and (or) Depository virtual currency wallet operator at the same time, except where those operators belong to a single group of undertakings.

(as of 1 November 2022) The operator of a Virtual currency exchange operator and (or) Depository virtual currency wallet operator must not operate or provide services in another State to the extent that only non-essential functions or services would remain in the Republic of Lithuania in accordance with the nature of their activities and would be performed or provided exclusively to customers of another State or, in principle, they would no longer carry out activities in the Republic of Lithuania.

(as of 1 November 2022) A natural person must not be a member of the management and supervisory bodies as well as beneficiary of the Virtual currency exchange operator and (or) Depository virtual currency wallet operator if such person:

1) has been found guilty of a serious or very serious crime as provided for in the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania or an offence corresponding to any of these offences in accordance with the criminal laws of other States, irrespective of whether the person’s previous conviction has expired or expunged;

2) has been found guilty of a minor or less serious crime against property, property rights and property interests, the economy and business order, the financial system, the public service and public interests, public security, as provided for in the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania, or an offence corresponding to any of these offences in accordance with the criminal laws of other States and 5 years have not passed after the person’s previous conviction has expired or expunged;

3) has been found guilty of an offence other than that referred to in above mentioned paragraphs 1 and 2, in the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania or in the criminal laws of other States, and has not elapsed since the date on which the sentence was served, suspended or released from the sentence.

Initial Coin Offering (ICO)

Initial Coin Offering (ICO) shall mean an offer made for the first time directly or through an intermediary by a legal person established in the Republic of Lithuania or a branch of a legal person of a Member State of the European Union or a foreign state established in the Republic of Lithuania to purchase its virtual currencies for funds or other virtual currencies with a view to raising capital or investment.

Although legal entities conducting initial virtual currency offering (ICO) are not considered as obliged entities in Lithuania, anti - money laundering and terrorist financing requirements for such persons are described in the Article 251 of the Law.

Persons engaged in the initial offer of virtual currency (ICO) are required to identify customers and beneficiaries if the customer carries out several operations of virtual currency acquisition from an individual conducting an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) the amount whereof is equal to or exceeds EUR 3 000, or an equivalent amount in foreign currency.

FCIS shall have the right to obtain from individuals conducting an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) the data and documents on monetary operations or virtual currency operations and transactions necessary for the performance of its functions and any other information necessary for the performance of the functions and tasks laid down in the Law.

 

OTHER OBLIGATIONS IN THE FIELD OF PREVENTION OF MONEY LAUNDERING AND/OR TERRORIST FINANCING

Virtual currency exchange operators and Depository virtual currency wallet operators:

  • Prior to establishing a business relationship must take measures and identify the customer and the beneficial owner as well as verify their identity.
  • (as of 1 January 2023) Before making virtual currency exchange transactions or transactions in virtual currency with funds equal to or above EUR 700 or its equivalent in a foreign or virtual currency, or before depositing or withdrawing virtual currency in or from virtual currencies with an amount equal to or greater than EUR 700 or its equivalent in a foreign or virtual currency, whether or not the transaction takes place in one or more interrelated transactions (the value of the virtual currency is determined at the time of the execution of the monetary transaction or the transaction), unless the customer and the beneficiary have already been identified.

In the case of several monetary operations which appear to be interrelated, the customer must be identified immediately after establishing that several monetary operations are linked. Several operations shall be considered to be linked if the customer carries out within 24 hours several virtual currency exchange operations or transactions in virtual currency with funds amounting to EUR 700 or more, or the equivalent amount in foreign or virtual currency, or carries out within 24 hours several operations of depositing virtual currency to or withdrawing virtual currency from the depository virtual currency wallet in the amount equal to or exceeding EUR 700, or the equivalent amount in foreign or virtual currency.

  • Virtual currency exchange operators must notify the FCIS of the customer identification data and information on performed virtual currency exchange operations or transactions in virtual currency, if the value of such monetary operation or transaction amounts to EUR 15 000 or more, or an equivalent amount in foreign or virtual currency, whether the transaction is carried out in a single monetary operation or in several operations which appear to be linked.  For the purposes of this article, several linked monetary operations shall mean several daily virtual currency exchange operations or transactions in virtual currency when the total value of operations and transactions in funds amounts to EUR 15 000 or more, or an equivalent amount in foreign or virtual currency.
  • (as of 1 January 2025) In order to identify suspicious monetary transactions or transactions and, if necessary, to take measures when carrying out a virtual currency exchange, transfer or other transaction, the Virtual currency exchange operators and (or) Depository virtual currency wallet operators must collect, store and transmit the following information to the Virtual currency exchange operator, Depository virtual currency wallet operator or financial institution of the recipient of the transaction:

1) information about the initiator of the operation — a natural person:

a) first name(s) and surname(s);
b) a unique transaction code;
c) monetary identification codes of the payment account or of the deposit virtual currencies;
d) the type of identity document, its number;
e) personal identification number (for foreigner — date of birth, if any — personal identification number or other unique sequence of symbols given to this person to identify the person) and nationality (if stateless person, indicate the country that issued the identity document);
f) the address of the place of residence;

2) information about the initiator of the operation — legal entity:

a) name;
b) a unique transaction code;
c) monetary identification codes of the payment account or of the deposit virtual currencies;
d) code (if no code is given, an extract of the registration);
e) the address of the registered office;

3) information on the beneficiary of the operation — a natural person:

a) first name(s) and surname(s);
b) personal identification number (for foreigner — date of birth, if any, the personal identification number or other unique sequence of symbols given to this person to identify the person);
c) monetary identification codes of the payment account or of the deposit virtual currencies;

4) information on the beneficiary of the operation — a legal person:

a) name;
b) code (if the code is available);
c) monetary identification codes of the payment account or of the deposit virtual currencies.

The Virtual currency exchange operator and (or) Depository virtual currency wallet operator initiating the transaction shall transmit the above listed information to the Virtual currency exchange operator, Depository virtual currency wallet operator or financial institution of the recipient of the transaction.

The Virtual currency exchange operators and (or) Depository virtual currency wallet operators shall not accept the transaction from another Virtual currency exchange operator or Depository virtual currency wallet operator, if the latter fails to comply with the requirement to transmit the above listed information.

The Virtual currency exchange operators and Depository virtual currency wallet operators shall be prohibited from opening anonymous accounts or accounts under obvious fictitious names, as well as from opening accounts or otherwise entering into business relationships without requiring the customer’s identity data or in case of a reasonable suspicion that the data recorded in these documents is false or falsified.

  • Must report to the FCIS about suspicious monetary operations or transactions:
            -Immediatelyupon receipt of the information that the customer intends or will attempt to carry out a suspicious monetary operation or transaction.
          -Upon establishing that their customer is carrying out a suspicious monetary operation or transaction must suspend the operation or transaction disregarding the amount of the monetary operation or transaction and, not later than within 3 working hoursfrom the suspension of the monetary operation or transaction, report this operation or transaction to the FCIS.
           -Immediately, not later than within 1 working dayfrom the emergence of such knowledge or suspicions, report to the FCIS if they know or suspect that property of any value is, directly or indirectly, derived from a criminal act or from involvement in such an act, also if they know or suspect that such property is used to support one or several terrorists or a terrorist organisation.
  • Must establish internal policies and internal control procedures related to:
    -Identification of the customer and of the beneficial owner and verification of their identity;
    -Risk assessment and risk management having regard to the types of identified risk;
    -Organisation of monitoring of business relationships and/or operations;
    -Implementation of international financial sanctions and restrictive measures;
    -Submission of reports and information to the FCIS;
    -Keeping of registers;
    Storage of the information specified in the Law;
    -Updating of the information concerning the identification of the customer and of the beneficial owner;
    -Organisation of training for employees to properly familiarise them with requirements for the prevention of money laundering and/or terrorist financing.
  • Must store information for the terms specified in the Law.

REPORTING OF SUSPICIOUS MONETARY OPERATIONS OR TRANSACTIONS TO THE FCIS

In order to submit information to FCIS regarding virtual currency exchange operations or transactions in virtual currency, if the value of the performed monetary operation or transaction amounts to EUR 15 000 or more (Paragraph 3of the Article 20 of the Law) or to report suspicious monetary operations or transactions (Article 16 of the Law), it is necessary to log in to the FCIS Information system and fill in a relevant noticication form

Access to the FCIS Information System shall be provided by authorised employees of the FCIS Anti-Money Laundering Board, upon receipt of a notification from the obliged entity of the appointed employees and members of the Board, who would organise the implementation of the anti-money laundering and/or terrorist financing measures laid down in the Law and cooperate with the FCIS, or upon individual request in writing or by e-mail: [email protected] and [email protected]

Questions related to the submission of information or reports to the FCIS, as well as the failure of the FCIS information system, can be submitted by e-mail: [email protected] and [email protected].

 

SUPERVISION

The FCIS is responsible for supervision of the activities of Virtual currency exchange operators and (or) Depository virtual currency wallet operators related to the prevention of money laundering and/or terrorist financing.

As a result of a breach of the Law, the FCIS may impose sanctions on obliged entities, including fines, as provided for in Article 36 of the Law.

The FCIS also approves instructions to Virtual currency exchange operators and (or) Depository virtual currency wallet operators aimed at preventing money laundering and/or terrorist financing and FCIS employees of the Anti-Money Laundering Board provide methodological assistance to obliged entities in the implementation of the anti-money laundering and/or terrorist financing measures laid down in the Law.

Any questions regarding the implementation of anti-money laundering and/or terrorist financing measures or requests for training session can be submitted by e-mail: [email protected].

 

LISTS PUBLISHED

(as of 1 February 2023) Lists of the Virtual currency exchange operators and (or) Depository virtual currency wallet operators are published on the website of the Register of Legal Entities.

 

RELATED LEGISLATION

Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing of the Republic of Lithuania

 

Other relevant legislation in Lithuanian language can be found below:

Galimo pinigų plovimo ir įtartinų piniginių operacijų ar sandorių atpažinimo kriterijų sąrašas, patvirtintas FNTT direktoriaus 2014 m. gruodžio 5 d. įsakymu Nr. V-240

Tinkamo finansinių sankcijų įgyvendinimo Finansinių nusikaltimų tyrimo tarnybos prie Lietuvos Respublikos vidaus reikalų ministerijos reguliavimo srityje priežiūros nurodymai, patvirtinti FNTT direktoriaus 2016 m. spalio 20 d. įsakymu Nr. V-273

Techniniai reikalavimai kliento tapatybės nustatymo procesui, kai tapatybė nustatoma nuotoliniu būdu, naudojantis elektroninėmis priemonėmis, leidžiančiomis tiesioginio vaizdo perdavimą, patvirtinti FNTT direktoriaus 2016 m. lapkričio 30 d. įsakymu Nr. V-314

Asmens tapatybės dokumento kopijos tvirtinimo ir pateikimo tvarkos aprašas, patvirtintas FNTT direktoriaus 2017 m. rugsėjo 12 d. įsakymu Nr. V-131

Įtartinų piniginių operacijų ar sandorių sustabdymo ir informacijos apie įtartinas pinigines operacijas ar sandorius pateikimo Finansinių nusikaltimų tyrimo tarnybai prie Lietuvos Respublikos vidaus reikalų ministerijos tvarkos aprašas, patvirtintas Lietuvos Respublikos vidaus reikalų ministro 2017 m. spalio 16 d. įsakymu Nr. 1V-701

Depozitinių virtualiųjų valiutų piniginių operatoriams ir virtualiųjų valiutų keityklų operatoriams skirti nurodymai, kuriais siekiama užkirsti kelią pinigų plovimui ir (ar) teroristų finansavimui, patvirtinti FNTT direktoriaus 2020 m. sausio 10 d. įsakymu Nr. V-5

Kiti teisės aktai, reglamentuojantys pinigų plovimo ir teroristų finansavimo prevenciją