Forex services in Estonia

Forex services or currency exchange services are considered as services offered by financial institution. In order to offer Forex services the company will need an activity licence.

Requirements for licence:

  1. In order to apply the forex licence the company nor its management board members, shareholders or procuraholders can have any unexpired penalty for a criminal offence against the authority of the state, criminal offence relating to money laundering or another wilfully committed criminal offence;
  2. the compliance officer appointed by the company complies with the requirements provided by law (education, experience, good reputation etc.);
  3. internal security measures;
  4. Rules of procedure.

Internal security measures:

(1) An obligated person shall establish written rules of procedure for taking the due diligence measures, including:

  • assessment and management of the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing,
  • collection and keeping of records, and
  • performance of the notification obligation and notification of the management,
  • as well as internal control rules for checking adherence thereto.

(2) the company shall ensure the provision of regular training for employees whose duties include establishment of business relationships or carrying out transactions. The training shall, among other things, give information about the modern methods of money laundering and terrorist financing and the related risks. 

(3) The management board of a financial institution shall appoint a person who acts as the contact person of the Financial Intelligence Unit (compliance officer). Only a person who has the education, professional suitability, abilities, personal characteristics and experience required for performance of the duties of a compliance officer and impeccable reputation may be appointed as a compliance officer. 

Requirements for rules of procedure:

(1) The rules of procedure established by the company shall correspond to the type, scope and complexity of the economic or professional activities of the company and regulate the taking of due diligence measures. 

(2) The company shall regularly check whether the established rules of procedure are up-to-date and establish new rules of procedure where necessary. 

(3) The rules of procedure shall:

  • describe transactions of a lower risk level and establish the appropriate requirements and procedure for carrying out such transactions;
  • describe transactions of a higher risk level, including risks arising from means of communication, computer network and other technological development, and establish the appropriate requirements and procedure for carrying out and monitoring such transactions;
  • set out the rules of taking the due diligence measures;
  • set out the requirements and procedure for keeping the documents and records;
  • set out the requirements and procedure for application;  

(4) The rules of procedure shall contain instructions for how to effectively and quickly identify whether or not the person is:

  • a politically exposed person;
  • a person whose place of residence or seat is in a country where no sufficient measures for prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing have been taken;
  • a person with regard to whose activities there is prior suspicion that the person may be involved in money laundering or terrorist financing;
  • a person with regard to whom international sanctions are imposed;
  • a person with whom a transaction is carried out using telecommunications.  

(5) The rules of procedure shall be introduced to all employees of an obligated person whose duties include establishment of business relationships or carrying out transactions. 

STEP 1 would be to establish the company in Estonia.
STEP 2 preparation of documents for submitting the licence.

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