May 24 2004. Many businesses are unaware of the implications of the Money Laundering Regulations 2003. The regulations for high-value dealers (HVD) came into affect on 1 April 2004 and apply to businesses which accept or make transactions of more than €15,000 (currently about £10,000) in cash.

A HVD could be any sort of business which supplies goods and accepts large payments for them in cash. The transaction does not have to be in one part, paying a cash deposit and then the rest in cash later still counts if the total is more than €15,000.

If the business is likely to be caught by the new rules, it must be registered with HM Customs and Excise before any more regulated transactions are accepted. The cost is £60 per premises, per trading name, every year.

When a HVD is registered with Customs & Excise they will also need to comply with the general provisions of the Regulations with regards to training and appointing a Money Laundering Reporting Officer.

The management of the business could face an unlimited fine or two years in prison for failing to have an effective system in place. Staff failing to report suspicions could face a prison term of five years.