Starting January 1, 2023, two framework amendments commenced in the AIFC:
All relevant AIFC participants shall get familiar with the amended frameworks. All respective proposals were available to the public during their respective public consultation periods.
AML/CTF Framework Amendments
In December 2021, AFSA made amendments to AIFC Anti-Money Laundering, Counter-Terrorist Financing (AML/CTF) and Sanctions Rules to increase adherence of AIFC AML/CTF framework to the Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
To continue its work on increasing adherence, in December 2022 AFSA introduced amendments to the following acts:
The introduced amendments into FSFR define more clearly AFSA’s supervisory powers in the AML/CTF area. Now it is explicitly stated that AFSA exercises control and supervision over the compliance of AIFC Participants with the AIFC AML Rules by conducting inspections, taking appropriate enforcement actions and imposing sanctions.
The Legal Entities Legislation Framework is amended, inter alia, by imposing a requirement to have and maintain a register of founders, partners and beneficial owners in the registered office of the participant in the AIFC and reducing the period when a participant must notify on any changes on its beneficial owner (from 30 to 14 days).
Also, a threshold in determining the beneficial owner is introduced. While the AFSA’s required approach to determination of beneficial owners still remains risk based, the FATF recommended threshold of 25% has been adopted in the AIFC.
The amendments commenced on 1 January 2023.
Fees Framework Amendments
The AFSA strategy for 2022 envisaged the implementation of amendments to the Fees framework. These amendments constitute phase 2 of this workstream and include the following components:
(a) Revised supervision fee for the Market Activities of Operating an Exchange and Operating a Clearing House;
(b) Supervision fee for Recognized Non-AIFC Members (RNAMs) and Recognised Non-AIFC Market Institutions (RNAMIs);
(c) Increased registration and post-registration fees for Foundation and Non- Profit Incorporated Organisation (NPIO);
(d) Filing fees and gradual late filing fees payable to the Office of Registrar;
(e) Clear amounts of application fees payable to the AFSA in respect of waivers, modifications, and other reliefs; (available here)
(f) Clarification on application fees for Ancillary Services.
As a result of the proposed changes to the AIFC Fees Framework, it is expected:
(a) To set a proportionate supervision fee for the Market Activities of Operating an Exchange and Operating a Clearing House, connected to market performance;
(b) To stimulate market activity of RNAMs, to receive supervision fee from potential RNAMIs;
(c) To ensure that only proper Foundations and Non-Profit Incorporated Organisations are registered in the AIFC, to reduce oversight effort, to manage reputational risk;
(d) To encourage AIFC participants to follow Legal Framework requirements;
(e) To bring clarity in regard to the fees payable to the AFSA in respect of waivers, modifications, and other reliefs;
(f) To bring clarity in regard to application fees charged for Ancillary Services.
The amendments commenced on 1 January 2023.
Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA) is the independent regulator of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), which is established in accordance with the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On the Astana International Financial Centre” for the purposes of regulating financial services and related activities in the AIFC. AFSA administers the AIFC Regulations and Rules and is responsible for the authorisation, registration, recognition and supervision of financial firms and market institutions in the AIFC.
Over 1,700 firms from 67 countries are registered in the AIFC. These firms provide banking, insurance, investment, professional and other services. The range of financial services offered at the AIFC is comparable to the list of services available in long-established financial centers of the world, such as London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and others.
Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) is an independent jurisdiction that began operations in 2018. In accordance with the 2025 Development Strategy, the key task of the AIFC is to consolidate as a universal platform connecting the countries of the EAEU, Central Asia and South Caucasus.