Months ago, we wrote an article on SCUML registration, and the article has given rise to many questions please click here to read the article. In this post, we will be handling as much as possible, every question you could possibly have about SCUML registration in Nigeria. The questions we will be providing answers to are borne from the inquiries we’ve received from this subject over time.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SCUML REGISTRATION IN NIGERIA
WHAT IS SCUML?
SCUML is the acronym for Special Control Unit on Money Laundering. It is an agency that was established under the Obasanjo’s administration through a Federal Government Order in 2005, which operates under the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). It is charged with the responsibility of registering, monitoring, and supervising the activities of Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professionals (DNFBPs) in line with the Money Laundering (Prevention & Prohibition) Act, 2022, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Regulations, 2022.
WHAT IS A SCUML CERTIFICATE?
This is a certificate issued by the Special Control Unit on Money Laundering to organizations or businesses to supervise, monitor, and regulate in a bid to reduce and stop money laundering and other related issues. The SCUML certificate is proof and an undertaking that your bank account will not be used as a channel for money laundering services.
WHY DO I NEED A SCUML CERTIFICATE?
In a bid to handle situations where businesses were used as conduits for carrying out financial crimes and sponsoring terrorist activities, the SCUML unit was created and charged with the responsibility of registering, monitoring, and supervising the activities of Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) in line with relevant laws backing it. Therefore to avoid the risk of being associated with financial crimes such as money laundering and sponsoring of terrorist activities, it is important that your business gets a SCUML certificate. By obtaining a SCUML certificate, it can be used as proof that your business is not a conduit for money laundering or sponsoring terrorist activities.
WHO NEEDS A SCUML CERTIFICATE?
In Nigeria, all Designated Non-Financial Institutions (DNFIs) businesses, professionals, and all registered entities in Nigeria (both profit and non-profit making entities) who have intentions of carrying out financial transactions using a corporate bank account must obtain a SCUML certificate.
Some of the list of DNFIs
1. Dealers in Luxury goods.
2. Dealers in Jewelry.
3. Importers and Dealers in cars or any other automobile.
4. Hotels and other Hospitality businesses.
6. Casinos, Pool Betting, and Lottery Business.
7. Audit Firms.
8. Law Firms.
9. Tax Consultants.
10. Accounting Firms.
11. Estate Surveyors and Valuers.
12. Real Estate Dealers.
13. Mechanized Farming.
14. Construction Companies.
15. Dealers with Precious Stones and Metals. Etc.
16. Non- Profit Organisations.
17. Other businesses and organizations that the regulatory authorities may designate from time to time
The list above is however not exhaustive.
HOW DO I PROCESS MY SCUML CERTIFICATE?
You may obtain a SCUML certificate for your registered company through the following steps;
a. Fill out the SCUML registration form online either by yourself or with the help of experienced agents.
b. Submit the application alongside other required documents
Upon submitting the application, you will receive a notification on whether or not the application was approved or denied.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET MY SCUML CERTIFICATE AFTER REGISTRATION
It takes about 14 to 21 days after submission of the application to complete the registration process and obtain a certificate so long as all relevant documents are provided. The certificate can be picked up at any registered zone/state of the applicant’s choice. Currently, only registered directors of the applicant company are permitted to retrieve their SCUML certificate at the SCUML office.
WHAT DO I NEED TO SUBMIT MY SCUML APPLICATION?
The following documents are required for SCUML registration;
i. CAC incorporation documents including; Certificate of Incorporation, Articles, and Memorandum of Association
ii. Bank Verification Number (BVN), Bank Name, and Account number of at least one director of the company
iii. Evidence of tax registration (Tax Identification Number (TIN))
iv. Evidence of tax exemption (where applicable)
v. Authorized Operational license (where applicable)
vi. Professional certificate (where applicable)
vii. Any other document deemed necessary
viii. Constitution (in the case of NGOs)
ix. Agreement signed between an NGO and the National Planning Commission (applicable to International NGOs)
CLICK THIS LINK for more on SCUML registration requirements for Private companies, Business names, and NGOs.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GET A SCUML CERTIFICATE?
A SCUML certificate is issued free of charge. However, if you need the assistance of an expert to apply for the certificate on your behalf, you may be required to pay for it.
CAN I GET MY SCUML CERTIFICATE ONLINE?
At the time of publishing this article, the application can only be done online. You are however required to pick up your SCUML certificate at the nearest SCUML office of your choice.
IS SCUML A REQUIREMENT FOR A FREIGHT FORWARDER?
Yes, SCUML is a requirement for freight forwarders
DOES A HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANY/ HMO NEED A SCUML CERTIFICATE?
No, they don’t.
WHO ARE DNFIs AND DNFBIs?
DNFI and DNFBIs are acronyms for Designated Non-Financial Institutions and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions respectively.
According to Section 30 of the MLPP 2022 Act, DNFBPs are dealers in Jewelry, Cars, Luxury Goods, Metals, Estate Surveyors, Estate Agents, Hotels, Supermarkets, or such other businesses as the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment and other appropriate legislation may designate from time to time.
WHAT ARE THE FUNCTIONS OF SCUML?
The roles of the Special Control Unit on Money Laundering are:
1. Collect cash-based transaction reports (CBTRs), each deposit, purchase, or sale, and other payments that involve cash transactions in excess of $1,000 or its equivalent in Naira or other countries.
2. Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs), which involve transactions in amounts in excess of ₦10,000, and ₦5,000,000 for corporate bodies and individuals respectively.
3. Forwards CBTRs and CTRs to Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NGIU) collected from DNFBPs.
4. Registration and Issuing of certificates of compliance to DNFBPs.
5. Monitoring the financial activities, ensuring all inflow and outflow of cash are legal transactions.
IS THERE A DEADLINE FOR SCUML REGISTRATION?
Yes, there is. All DNBPs are expected to register not later than 3 months after commencement of business activities.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR NOT CARRYING OUT SCUML REGISTRATION?
Non-compliance with the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (i.e. the Act that establishes the SCUML unit in Nigeria) attracts consequences such as; penalties for non-compliance including Suspension or Revocation of any license; Payment of a fine of ₦1,000,000 for each year of default, Imprisonment or both.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER SCUML REGISTRATION?
After obtaining a SCUML certificate, companies that receive monies in the sum of N10,000,000 (ten million naira) and above as a lump sum from another company or in the course of transactions are obligated to file a SCUML report directly to SCUML.
Such a report is to be filed within 7 days. Companies that receive 5 million and above from an individual in lump sum are to file SCUML reports. Companies that receive less than 5 million e.g. they are to file a NIL report monthly.
The importance of the SCUML Certificate cannot be overemphasized as it serves as a cogent validation that such an entity is not a conduit for financial crimes. We hope this article provides answers to whatever burning questions you might have.
If you have further questions in this regard or you like us to assist you with obtaining your SCUML certificate? Please reach out to us by clicking the Whatsapp icon on this page or HERE, and we will be delighted to assist you.