AML in Brazil: A Guide to Brazil’s AML Regulations

The evolution of financial systems and the growth of technology have brought about new challenges in the world of finance, including the menace of money laundering. Countries worldwide, including Brazil, have adopted stringent anti-money laundering (AML) regulations to combat this menace.

In this article, we take a deep dive into, the entities they impact, the key regulatory bodies, and the steps businesses must take to ensure compliance.

Who is Impacted by AML Regulations in Brazil?

AML in Brazil regulations apply broadly to entities licensed by the Central Bank of Brazil and other financial institutions. As per Law 9,613/98, entities must comply with AML in Brazil rules if they’re engaged in activities related to financial transactions.

This includes financial institutions, insurance companies, payment or credit card administrators, property distributors, leasing and factoring companies, among others.

KYC Hub's AML Screening and Monitoring Solution

Brazil’s AML Regulatory Framework

The regulatory framework comprises several key laws and regulations aimed at preventing and combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

1: Brazilian Central Bank Circular 3,798/20

Enacted in 2020, Circular 3,798/20 introduced a risk-based approach to AML in Brazil compliance. It mandates financial institutions to implement internal controls for detecting and managing money laundering risks. It also requires institutions to register all transactions to identify the involved parties and the origin and recipient of funds.

2: Law 9,613/98

Enacted in 1998, Law 9,613/98 made money laundering related to various crimes, including drug and arms trafficking, terrorism, extortion, and organized crime, a criminal offense. It also established the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), known as the Council for Financial Activities Control (COAF).

3: Law 12,683/12

Law 12,683/12, enacted in 2012, broadened AML laws for Money laundering in Brazil by expanding the definition of illicit activities that constitute money laundering. It also strengthened penalties for money laundering activities.

AML Regulatory Authorities in Brazil

Council for Financial Activities Control (COAF)

COAF, Brazil’s FIU, is charged with regulating financial institutions, enforcing sanctions policies, investigating suspicious transactions, and monitoring high-risk clients or accounts.

Central Bank of Brazil (BCB)

The BCB is Brazil’s primary monetary authority, ensuring that national financial institutions comply with AML regulations. It also supervises compliance with AML Regulations in Brazil.

To stay compliant with AML in Brazil and its regulations, regulated entities must implement various procedures:


Entities must register with the local regulatory authority and/or COAF upon establishment. This will help prevent Money laundering in Brazil.

✅Internal Controls

Financial institutions must establish internal policies and procedures to effectively manage money laundering risks. These internal documents must be in line with the risk profiles of customers, the institution, financial activities, and employees or partners.

✅Customer Due Diligence (CDD)

Entities must implement CDD procedures at the onboarding stage and on an ongoing basis, depending on the client’s risk level. This includes collecting and verifying customer information and checking for any sanctions or politically exposed person (PEP) status.


Entities must report any suspicious activity to COAF within 24 hours of detection. This includes transactions exceeding a specified limit, transactions to non-Brazilian bank accounts exceeding BRL 100,000, and sanctions matches.

✅Fines and Penalties

Non-compliance with Brazil’s AML regulations can lead to both administrative and criminal penalties. These range from warnings to the temporary suspension of operations to fines that can reach up to twice the value of the transaction or BRL 20,000,000.00.

A Guide to AML Regulations

What is the main law governing AML in Brazil?

The primary law governing AML in Brazil is Law 9,613/98, which was later amended by Law 12,683/12.

Non-compliance with AML regulations in Brazil can lead to both administrative and criminal penalties, including warnings, suspension of operations, and fines.

The Council for Financial Activities Control (COAF) and the Central Bank of Brazil (BCB) are responsible for enforcing AML regulations in Brazil.

Businesses can ensure compliance with Brazil’s AML regulations by implementing robust internal controls, conducting thorough Customer Due Diligence (CDD), and regularly reporting suspicious activities to the COAF. They can also utilize solutions like those offered by KYC Hub to simplify the compliance process.

Onboarding Users in Brazil with KYC Hub

Compliance with AML regulations in Brazil can be simplified using solutions offered by KYC Hub. KYC Hub provides secure and straightforward solutions for checking for high-risk individuals and scanning names against various official lists. With its sophisticated scan filters and due diligence workflow, it minimizes the time spent sorting through false matches.


Brazil has made significant strides in strengthening its AML Solutions regulatory framework and aligning it with international standards. However, businesses operating in the country must ensure they stay updated with new rules and regulations to maintain compliance and avoid penalties.

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