Latest News

Agents’ views sought on property listings

20 April 2021

The National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT) has today, 20 April, launched a consultation to gather information to develop guidance as to what should be considered material information on property listings and portals. Read More...

New Stamp Duty surcharge for non-UK residents

01 April 2021

From today, 1 April 2021, a two per cent higher rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) will apply to purchasers of residential property in England and Northern Ireland who are not resident in the UK. Read More...

Report finds HMRC ‘broadly’ fulfilling AML supervision role

30 March 2021

HMRC has published a self-assessment of its money laundering supervisory performance, which is broadly in line with the relevant Money Laundering Regulations and OPBAS sourcebook, however stating there was room for improvement. Read More...

Guidance for members unchanged as England moves to next stage of roadmap

29 March 2021

From Monday 29 March the UK Government will start to ease lockdown restrictions on social contact, business and activities, and travel in England. Whilst there will be no changes to safety guidance for the property sector, Propertymark is reviewing the guidance that has supported members to work safely and given the UK Government the confidence to allow agents to keep working throughout lockdown. Read More...

Agents urged to support lone workers

24 March 2021

With many agents required to work alone, it is important employers put in place measures to ensure their safety. After the tragic disappearance in 1986 of estate agent, Suzy Lamplugh, the Trust, in her name, provides guidance for workers to reduce the risk of violence and aggression. Read More...

Treasury announces tax administration reform and new proposals in first-ever ‘Tax Day’

23 March 2021

HM Treasury has released its ‘Tax Day command paper’ designed to allow further scrutiny on tax announcements that would normally take place during the budget. Read More...

Next steps for leasehold reform in Wales

17 March 2021

The Welsh Government has published new research into the sale and use of leaseholds where the Housing Minister, Julie James MS, sets out her intentions for reforming the sector. The action plan considers other evidence from the Task and Finish Group on Leasehold Reform and recommendations made by the Law Commission. Read More...

ICO registration mandatory for all businesses

16 March 2021

Any business or sole trader who processes personal information must register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) under the Data Protection Act 2018 and failure to register is a criminal offence. Read More...

Art Market Participants included in new Money Laundering Regulations

Monday 17 February 2020

The Money Laundering Regulations 2019 passed into UK law on 10 January 2020, affecting those working in property auctions, sales as well as lettings and high-value dealers.

The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019 amend the Money Laundering Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017.  The Regulations extend the scope of “obliged entities” to art market participants who are now covered by the legislation. 

Art Market Participants

Art Market Participants mean a firm or sole practitioner who trades in or acts as an intermediary in the sale or purchase of works of art and the value of the transactions or a series of linked transactions, amounts to 10,000 euros or more.  


In the legislation works of art means anything as defined in section 21(6) to (6B) of the Value Added Tax Act 1994, which means:  

  • Paintings, drawings, decorative plaque or collages executed by hand
  • Engravings, lithographs, and prints including limited editions
  • Original sculpture or statuary
  • Sculpture casts including limited editions
  • Handmade tapestries and limited editions
  • Signed ceramics
  • Enamel on copper (excluding jewellery)
  • Mounted or unmounted photographs including limited editions


As also set out in the legislation an art market participant is also the operator of a freeport when it, or any other firm or sole practitioner, by way of business stores works of art in the freeport and the value of the works of art stored for a person, or a series of linked person, amounts to 10,000 euros or more.  


Free ports are also known as free zones. They are areas designated as special zones for customs purposes.

When the UK Government consulted on the transposition of the Fifth Money Laundering Directive, they said there are currently no free ports in the UK. The Government did, however, say that there are customs warehouses, but these are generally not used for art transactions in the same way as free ports in other non-EU jurisdictions.


All art market participants within the Money Laundering Regulations will have to register with HMRC. As outlined within the Regulations, there is a 12-month window (until 10 January 2021) to register.

What do you need to do?

  • Written Risk Assessment - establish and maintain an up to date written risk assessment that is appropriate to the size of the business.
  • A written policy on how to manage the risk - establish, maintain and review written policies, controls, and procedures to mitigate and manage effectively the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing identified in any risk assessment.
  • Internal controls - appoint a senior manager as Nominated Officer/Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) responsible for the business’ compliance with the Regulations.
  • Training - ensure employees are aware of the law and provide regular training opportunities in how to recognise and deal with transactions that may be related to money laundering and terrorist financing.

Customer Due Diligence

Before a business relationship is established, Art Market Participants must identify and verify their customers, obtaining information on the nature of the business relationship and details of any beneficial owners.

  • Record keeping - Art Market Participants must keep copies of CDD and supporting records and ensure the information is up to date.
  • Ongoing monitoring - Art Market Participants must carry out ongoing monitoring of a business relationship.
  • Cease transactions - if an Art Market Participant is unable to apply CDD measures, they must not establish a business relationship or carry out a transaction and terminate any existing business relationship with the customer.


Businesses must also apply CDD in order to understand the ownership and control structure of their customers as well as verify the identity of senior managing officials when the beneficial owner cannot be identified.


Enhanced Due Diligence must be applied in situations that are high risk in addition to the Customer Due Diligence requirements.

Politically exposed persons

Businesses must have in place appropriate risk-management systems and procedures to determine and manage the enhanced risks arising from whether a customer or the beneficial owner of the customer is a Politically Exposed Persons or a family member or a known close associate of a Politically Exposed Person.

Suspicious Activity Reports

Once an Art Market Participant has suspicion or knowledge, or reasonable ground to suspect that money laundering is taking place by their customer, or a transaction or relationship their client is concerned with, they should notify the MLRO immediately through a written internal report

Once the appropriate level of suspicion or knowledge has been formed that the letting agency is concerned with a money laundering issue, the letting agency must complete a Suspicious Activity Report and send it to the National Crime Agency. 

Government guidance