Information Note On Masak Crypto Assets Service Provider Guide
As is known, crypto assets service providers were included in the MASAK obligators with the amendment made to the Regulation on Measures to Prevent Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (“Regulation on Measures”) on 01 May 2021. Within this scope, a Guide was published by MASAK related to the obligations that crypto assets service providers (“Obligators”) will be subjected to.
The obligations are collected under 4 categories as follows:
1. Recognition of the Customer
2. Suspicious Transaction Notice
3. Maintenance and Submission
4. Providing Continuous Information and Documents
1. OBLIGATION TO RECOGNIZE THE CUSTOMER
a) In the presence of constant business relationship;
Crypto assets platforms and the users who register to the platforms may perform successive transactions due to the user or membership agreement executed between them. Thus, this relationship is defined as “constant business relationship.” According to the Regulation, it is stated that identity information shall be obtained from the users during the establishment of this agreement, without taking the amount into consideration, and the accuracy of such information is required to be confirmed.
b) In case no constant business relationship is established;
Where no constant business relationship is established, crypto assets service providers are rendered obligated to perform identification;
- Where a suspicious transaction notice is required, without taking the amount into consideration,
- Where there is a suspicion on the sufficiency and accuracy of the previously obtained customer identity, without taking the amount into consideration,
- When the transaction amount or the total of multiple interrelated transactions is or above 75.000 TL.
At this point, it is emphasized that the identification should be completed before the establishment of the business relationship or before the crypto currency transaction is performed.
In the Guide, parallel to the relevant articles of the Measures Regulation, the information that will be obtained during the identification of real persons and legal entities and the information that requires confirmation are explained.
A) OBLIGATION OF IDENTIFICATION IN REAL PERSONS
Information that will be obtained during identification:
a. Name and surname
b. Date of Birth
c. T.R. ID No
d. Type and number of the identity document
g. Father’s and Mother’s name (Only for Turkish Nationals)
h. Place of birth
i. Signature sample
j. Information related to job and profession
k. If any, phone number, fax number, electronic mail address
From the information listed above;
The accuracy of the information mentioned in paragraphs (a, b, c and d) will be confirmed with (i) For Turkish Nationals; T.R. identity card, T.R. drivers license or passport, (ii) For non-Turkish nationals; passport, residence document or another identity document seen appropriate by the Ministry*.
Accuracy of address information (if there is a constant business relationship);
- Residence document
- Invoice issued within the three months prior to the transaction date for the relevant person related to the service that requires subscription such as electricity, water, gas, phone
- Document given by any public institution
- It will be sufficient to confirm with one of the other documents and methods* seen appropriate by the Ministry.
After the submission of the originals or notarized copies of the documents for confirmation, the legible photocopy or electronic image thereof will be obtained or the distinctive information on the document will be registered.
B) OBLIGATION OF IDENTIFICATION IN LEGAL ENTITIES REGISTERED TO THE TRADE REGISTRY
Information that will be obtained during identification:
a. Title of the legal entity
b. Trade registry number
c. Activity matter
d. Open address
e. Taxpayer identity number
f. Telephone number and, if available, fax number and e-mail address,
g. The name, surname, place and date of birth, nationality, information on the type and number of identity document and a signature sample of the person authorized to represent the legal entity and, additionally, mother’s name, father’s name and T.R identity number will be obtained for Turkish nationals.
The accuracy of the information mentioned in paragraphs (a, b, c and d); will be confirmed over the documents related to registry to the Trade registry,
Taxpayer identity number confirmation; will be performed over the documents issued by the relevant unit of Income Administration Presidency.
The accuracy of the identity information of the persons authorized to represent the legal entity will be confirmed over the identity documents required for real persons, and the authority to represent will be confirmed over the documents for registry.
For being submitted when requested by authorities, after the submission of the originals or notarized copies of the documents for confirmation, the legible photocopy or electronic image thereof will be obtained or the distinctive information on the document will be registered.
Identification of legal entities located abroad;
It is performed over the examples of the documents that are equivalent to the documents sought for legal entities located at Turkey that are approved by the consulates of Republic of Turkey or that are endorsed as affirmed by the authority of the country which is a party to Convention for Abolishing the Obligation to Certify Foreign Official Documents, within the scope of such Convention. Also, within the scope of risk based approach, the identity information are confirmed over the notarized Turkish translations of these documents when needed.
IDENTIFICATION IN SUCCESSIVE TRANSACTIONS
* You may reach detailed information over https://masak.hmb.gov.tr/sikca-sorulan-sorular official website.
Transactions of 75,000 TL or more that are made later by users who have established a constant business relationship by signing a membership agreement with crypto asset service providers will be considered as successive transactions.
In addition to the above, it is known that crypto asset service providers carry out all their transactions electronically without being face to face with the customer. Thus, as per the “Simplified Measures” in the MASAL General Communique Serial No:5, with meeting all of the following conditions, it is stated that confirmation of the identity information and obtaining signature sample of the customer will not be mandatory within the scope procedures listed above;
1. To have executed an agreement with a bank established in Turkey on the performance of collection and payment transactions related to the services over electronic medium,
2. Confirming the identity information of the customer (Name, Surname, place and date of birth, nationality, T.R. ID number for Turkish nationals, foreigner identity number for foreign nationals) obtained over the electronic medium during the registration application over the Ministry of Internal Affairs General Directorate of Civil Registration and Nationality identity sharing system,
3. Performing all collection and payments over a bank account or credit card account that complies with the identity information of the person who has been accepted as member after confirming his/her identity.
2. OBLIGATION TO NOTIFY SUSPICIOUS TRANSACTIONS
Crypto asset service providers will determine whether a transaction is suspicious, without taking any monetary limit into account, by considering the following;
- Behavior of the customer
- Information previously obtained about the customer
- The compliance of the transaction and the transaction amount with the financial profile of the customer and other aspects.
Notifying the suspicious transactions within the scope of providing continuous information does not remove the obligation to notify suspicious transactions. The notices on suspicious transactions shall be performed by the legal representatives of the obligated legal entity.
The term “transaction” in suspicious transactions is not limited to a single transaction and may cover multiple transactions. In such case, only one STN form shall be prepared.
Suspicious transactions shall be notified to MASAK Presidency within maximum 10 BUSINESS DAYS following the date on which the suspicion arises and IMMEDIATELY where delay is inconvenient.
How will the suspicious transaction be notified?
a) The suspicious transaction notice may be performed by downloading, filling out and signing suspicious transaction form (Annex:1) prepared for “Other Obligations” over https://masak.hmb.gov.tr/sektorel-sib-rehberleri address and submitting it to the Presidency by hand or through certified mail. Letters sent to the Presidency without filling out the form will not be accepted as suspicious transaction notice even if they are signed.
b) Electronic submission of suspicious transaction notices shall be performed by using EMIS.ONLİNE system (https://online.masak.gov.tr) that is opened to the access of the obligators by the Presidency.
In order to open a user account in the EMIS.ONLINE system, the documents that must be issued by the legal representative with wet signature and submitted to the Presidency are as follows:
- "Suspicious Transaction Notification Commitment Form in Electronic Environment" (ANNEX:2)
- Authorization certificate of the legal representative
Thereupon, the EMIS.ONLINE system can be accessed with the password to be sent to the e-mail address of the legal representative with the institution extension.
You may examine the “Sectoral Suspicious Transaction Notice (STN) Guides” with detailed information about suspicious transactions over https://masak.hmb.gov.tr/sektorel-sib-rehberleri website.
In cases where the suspicious transaction subject to notification remains at the attempted stage, the identity determination obligation should be fulfilled to the extent possible.
It cannot be disclosed to anyone, including those who are parties to the transaction, except for the courts during the trial with the supervisors assigned to audit the suspicious transaction, that the suspicious transaction has been notified to MASAK. Those who violate this will be punished with 1 year to 3 years of prison and judicial fine up to 5000 days.
3. OBLIGATION TO MAINTAIN
Service providers are obligated to maintain for 8 YEARS any document related to the transactions explained above starting from the date of issue; ledgers and records starting from the last record date; documents related to identification starting from the last transaction date, and to submit them to the authorities if requested.
4. OBLIGATION OF PROVIDING CONTINUOUS INFORMATION
Regarding this obligation, it is stated in the Guide that only the types of transactions within the scope of providing continuous information, how and for which time the information will be given, obligated parties to be excluded from the scope and other procedures and principles regarding implementation will be determined by the Ministry.
Administrative fines determined for 2021 are as follows:
Administrative Fine for a Single Violation (TL)
Administrative Fine Upper Limit Amount (TL)
Suspicious transaction notice
Providing continuous information
The total amount of administrative fines to be applied cannot exceed the amount determined as of the year in which the breach occurred for each liability. In case the obligated parties who are penalized with the upper amount violate the same obligation again in the following year, these amounts are applied as TWO TIMES.
In the Guide, sample suspicious transaction types related to different customer profiles and transactions performed are included.
Finally, obliged parties have been warned to not be directed to the above-specified documents as "requested by MASAK", "MASAK should be asked to complete the transaction" or "MASAK does not allow" in cases considered risky.
Within the scope of an investigation conducted, in cases where information about customers is requested by MASAK, the direct or indirect notification of the customer of this situation may be considered as a violation of the confidentiality obligation and imprisonment from 1 to 4 years may be possible.