Updated list of FATF high-risk countries and countries under increased monitoring

FATF List of High Risk Countries

In the recently concluded February 2023 plenary, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international body that establishes intercontinental standards to combat money laundering, counter-terrorism financing, and combat weapons of mass destruction proliferation financing, has updated the lists of jurisdictions under increased monitoring as well as the list of high-risk countries subject to a Call for Action, owing to their strategic deficiencies around fighting financial crimes. 

New countries added to the FATF’s list of jurisdictions under increased monitoring on 24th February 2023 are the Nigeria and South Africa. At the same time, Cambodia and Morocco have been removed from this list. 

The FATF established two statements as part of its listing and monitoring procedures to assure consistency with its international standards: 

1. Jurisdictions under Increased Monitoring - Grey List

Which publicly recognizes jurisdictions that have committed to, or are actively working with, the FATF to resolve strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering, combatting of terrorism financing as well as combatting of proliferation financing (AML/CFT/CPF) regimes within agreed timelines. This list is commonly known as the “grey list.”

List of Jurisdictions under Increased Monitoring

3Burkina Faso15Senegal  
4Cayman Islands16South Africa
5Democratic Republic of the Congo17South Sudan
6 Gibraltar18Syria  
7 Haiti 19Turkey
8Jamaica 20Tanzania 
10 Mali22United Arab Emirates  

(2) High-Risk Countries Subject to a Call for Action - Blacklist

Which identifies jurisdictions with substantial strategic weaknesses publicly in their AML/CFT/CPF regimes and calls on all FATF members to conduct enhanced due diligence and, in the most severe cases, implement countermeasures to protect the international financial system from money laundering, funding of terrorism and proliferation risks stood by the identified nations. This list is commonly referred to as the “Blacklist.” 

Recently, the FATF has added Myanmar to this list of High-Risk countries subject to a Call for Action. Accordingly, with effect from 21st October 2022, the FATF “Blacklist” stands as under

  • Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (subject to FATF call on its members/jurisdictions to apply countermeasures),  
  • Myanmar (subject to FATF call on its members/jurisdictions to apply enhanced due diligence measures proportionate to the risks arising from Myanmar). 

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AML Compliance pertaining to grey-listed and blacklisted countries

All Financial Institutions (FIs) and Designated Non-Finance Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) are required to have appropriate risk-based AML/CFT protections in place to limit the potential of money laundering and terror financing posed by countries subject to increased monitoring or listed as high-risk jurisdictions subject to a “Call for Action” by FATF. 

As a result, FI and DNFBPs must screen customers against the FATF Jurisdictions under Increased Monitoring and High-Risk Jurisdictions Subject to a Call for Action while onboarding and continuously monitor their transactions throughout their business relationship. DNFBPs should ensure that their customer due diligence measures verify their customer’s residence in, or business with, listed countries and that their transaction monitoring measures can examine the size, frequency, and pattern of transactions involving high-risk countries to determine the possibility of occurrence of financial crimes such as money laundering. 

FIs and DNFBPs must file suspicious transaction/activity reports (STR/SAR) to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) when red flags are observed so that enforcement actions can be conducted.  

Further, FIs and DNFBPs are obligated to report the transaction or activity with high-risk countries subject to a “Call for Action” to the FIU by filing High-Risk Country Transaction Report or High-Risk Country Activity Report (HRC/HRCA), as the case may be

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High-Risk Countries - FAQs

Here are a few frequently asked questions about high risk countries.

Through its position in setting global standards to combat terrorist financing, assisting jurisdictions in implementing financial provisions of United Nations Security Council resolutions on terrorism, and evaluating countries’ ability to prevent, detect, investigate, and prosecute terrorist financing, the FATF plays a critical role in global efforts to combat terrorism financing. Despite this, several nations have yet to apply the FATF Standards fully. They are unaware of the nature of the TF threats they face and lack adequate counter-measures.

When a regime is put on the Grey List by the FATF, it means the country is actively working with FATF to fight against money laundering and other risks. It means the government is taking active measures to identify the deficiencies in its regulatory structure and correct them within the agreed timelines.  

FATF Blacklist features the high-risk jurisdictions subject to a Call for Action. As per the FATF October 2022 plenary report, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Myanmar and Iran feature in the FATF Blacklist.  

A member of the FATF may impose economic sanctions on a country on the blacklist. North Korea, Iran and Myanmar for example, are both on the FATF Blacklist. As a result, sanctions against North Korea, Iran and Myanmar are possible.

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About the Author

Pathik Shah


Pathik is a multi-disciplinary professional with more than 22 years of experience in compliance, risk management, accounting, system audits, IT consultancy, and digital marketing. He has extensive knowledge of Anti-Money Laundering rules and regulations, and he helps companies comply with legal requirements. Pathik also helps companies generate value from their IT investments.