On October 17, 2011 the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), a division of the United States Department of the Treasury, published a proposed rule that would add “tangible prepaid access devices” to the list of monetary instruments that must be reported when such devices are transported, mailed, or shipped into or out of the United States. FinCEN has indicated that is rule is proposed to address money laundering and terrorist financing vulnerabilities.
Pursuant to the Bank Secrecy Act as implemented by FinCEN, a person transporting currency or other monetary instruments in excess of $10,000 across a U.S. border is required to file a Report of International Transport of Currency or Monetary Instruments (“CMIR”). Under the proposed rule, tangible prepaid access devices would be covered under the definition of “monetary instrument.” Thus, transporting a prepaid access device with a load value in excess of $10,000 across a U.S. border would trigger the CMIR filing requirement.
General-use prepaid cards, gift cards, store cards, payroll cards, and government benefit cards are included in the definition of “tangible prepaid access device” under the proposed rule. Under the proposed rule, “tangible prepaid access device” would also include tangible devices that have the capability to access prepaid funds at a merchant location.
Under the proposed rule, the term “tangible prepaid access device” would not include:
FinCEN requested comments to various aspects of the proposed rule including:
The Comment Period to the proposed FinCEN rule closed on December 16, 2011 with 15 comments being filed.
~~ Ray Bilbao, former General Counsel for GiftCards.com