ICELAND BACKGROUND CHECK

General Information

GDP USD17.01bn (World ranking 114, World Bank 2014)
Population 0.33 million (World ranking 176, World Bank 2014)
Form of state Constitutional Republic
Head of government PM Sigmundur David GUNNLAUGSSON
Next elections 2016, presidential

CURRENT LOCAL TIME

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PRODUCTS IN ICELAND

Data Protection

General Introduction

General Introduction concerning Act no. 77/2000 on The Protection of Privacy as regards the Processing of Personal Data as well as on the functions of the Data Protection Authority.

The Personal Data Act and other relevant acts and rules:

Act no. 77/2000 on The Protection of Privacy as regards the Processing of Personal Data; as amended

Act on Biobanks no. 110/2000

Act on the Schengen Information System in Iceland, no. 16/2000.

Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data. (EUR-Lex)

Rules no. 837/2006 on Electronic Surveillance.

Rules no. 698/2004 on The Obligation to Notify and Processing which requires a Permit.

Rules no. 299/2001 on security of personal data

Regulation no. 322/2001 on Management of Personal Information by the Police

Act on the Rights of Patients no. 74/1997

Translations are un-official and non-verified, unless otherwise stated.

General overview on the conduct of audits

Monitoring data controllers and ensuring that they take appropriate security measures, in accordance with law, is an important part of the DPA´s work on law-enforcement.

The audits are conducted within the framework of rules no. 299/2001, on security of personal data, which incorporate, in a very simplified form, the methodology of the International Standard ISO/IEC 17799 “Information Technology – Code of Practice for information security management”.

(Adopted on 16 December 2003;Entry into force on 30 December 2003)

1. New wording of Section 109 on active bribery, as amended by Article 2 of the law 125/2003

“Art. 109 Anyone who presents, promises or offers a civil servant a gift or other gain to which he/she is not entitled for the benefit of himself/herself or others for the purpose of inducing him/her to do or fail to do something linked to his/her official duties shall be subject to imprisonment for up to 3 years or fines in case of mitigating circumstances.

The same penalty shall apply to anyone directing such a message to a foreign official, an employee of an international establishment, a person sitting at the assembly of such an organization or an official Legislative Assembly in a foreign State, a Judge on the panel of an International Court or an employee of such a Court for the purpose of inducing him/her to do or omit something connected with his/her official duties.

The same penalty shall furthermore apply to anyone directing such a message at a person maintaining or ascertaining that he/she may exert abnormal influence on the decision of the person dealt with in para. 1 and 2 of the present Article for the purpose of getting him/her to exert this influence.

The same penalty shall furthermore apply to a person who maintains or ascertains that he/she can exert abnormal influence on the decision of a person dealt with in para. 1 and 2 of the present Article and who demands, accepts or has promised for himself/herself or others gifts or other gain to which he/she is not entitled irrespective of whether the influence is exerted or whether this lead to the goal aimed at.

2. New wording of Section 128 on passive bribery, as amended by Article 3 of the law 125/2003

“Art. 128 In case a civil servant demands, accepts or has promised to himself or others gifts or other gain to which he/she is not entitled in connection with the performance of his/her work he/she shall be subject to imprisonment for up to 6 years, or fines in case of mitigating circumstances.

The same penalty shall apply to a foreign civil servant, an employee of an international establishment, a person sitting at an assembly of such an organization or at an official Legislative Assembly in a foreign State, a Judge on the bench of an International Court of Law or an employee at such a Court who demands, accepts or has promised for himself/herself or others gifts or other gain to which he/she is not entitled in connection with the execution of his/her work.

Police Background Check Procedures

Who can apply?

•Individuals may directly apply.
•Third party representatives may also apply on the individuals behalf, with the power of
attorney, signed by two witnesses (paper/electronic form available at local magistrate ́s office).
•Certain UK prospective employers may apply; contact Icelandic embassy for more details.

Where?

• Applicants are encouraged to appear in person, post, fax or e-mail applications to the District
Magistrate in Kópavogur (local and overseas), or their local police station (local applicants) (see
below).

What must the applicant supply?

Local applicant in person:
•  Valid Photo ID
•  Fee payment
•  Self-addressed, stamped envelope
•  Overseas applicants:
•  Details of their last Icelandic address
•  State what language they wish certificate to be in
Third Party representatives:
•  Written power of attorney form
•  Provide name and social security number of subject, representative and the two witnesses.

What are the costs / turnaround times?

•  Issued at ISK 1,350 (approx. GBP£8)
•  Payable by cash, debit/credit card or bank transfer (contact nearest Office or embassy for more details).
•  Turnaround time dependent on pre-paid services requested (1st class, 2nd class or courier).

Contact Details

Office of the District Magistrate in Kópavogur:
Sýslumadurinn í Kópavogi
Dalvegi 18
201 Kópavogur
Iceland
Tel: 00354 560 3000
Fax: 00354 560 3090
Website:http://www.syslumenn.is/utanrvk/leyfi_skirteini/sakavottord
(Icelandic)
Email:Kopavogur@syslumenn.is

Iceland – Know Your Customer (KYC) Rules

Iceland is not considered a regional financial center. Money laundering in Iceland is related primarily to narcotics smuggling and trading and is not considered a major problem. Criminal proceeds tend to derive from domestic organizations with some linkages to foreign groups. In 2011, investigators continued to look into the 2008 collapse of Iceland‘s financial system and to re-examine allegations that its banks may have been involved in money laundering. The collapse of the Icelandic banks continues to affect the activities of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), not least in connection with foreign interaction and information exchange with its counterparts abroad due to investigation into cases relating to the collapse.

KNOW-YOUR-CUSTOMER (KYC) RULES:

Enhanced due diligence procedures for PEPs:

A PEP is an abbreviation for Politically Exposed Person, a term that describes a person who has been entrusted with a prominent public function, or an individual who is closely related to such a person. The terms PEP, Politically Exposed Person and Senior Foreign Political Figure are often used interchangeably

    • Foreign PEP: YES
    • Domestic PEP: NO

Iceland – KYC covered entities

The following is a list of Know Your Customer entities covered by Icelandic Law:

    • Banks
    • Currency exchanges
    • Attorneys
    • Auditors
    • Real estate dealers
    • Trust, safekeeping, and company service providers
    • Life insurance companies and pension funds
    • Insurance brokers and intermediaries
    • Securities brokers
    • Dealers in vessels or any high-value items

Iceland – Suspicious Transaction Reporting (STR) Requirements:

Number of STRs received and time frame: 414 in 2010

Number of CTRs received and time frame: Not applicable

The following is a list of STR covered entities covered by Icelandic Law:

    • Banks
    • Currency exchanges
    • Attorneys
    • Auditors
    • Real estate dealers
    • Trust, safekeeping, and company service providers
    • Life insurance companies and pension funds
    • Insurance brokers and intermediaries
    • Securities brokers
    • Dealers in vessels or any high-value items

MONEY LAUNDERING CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS/CONVICTIONS:

Prosecutions: One in 2010
Convictions: One in 2010

ENFORCEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES AND COMMENTS:

The Government of Iceland (GOI) has improved its anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) system through the enforcement of existing laws, and review and implementation of international standards. A domestic mechanism should be implemented to allow designation of terrorists at a national level as well as to give effect to designations and asset freeze requests from other countries. Iceland does have a legal framework that allows authorities to freeze terrorist assets in a timely manner; however, all orders to freeze assets must have prior judicial approval. The country does not have asset sharing capabilities. The GOI should continue to enhance its AML/CFT program, as appropriate.

The Economic Crime Unit at the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police and the Office of the Special Prosecutor, which is responsible for investigating the banking collapse, merged on January 1, 2012. As a result of the merger, both the investigation and prosecution of cases that have been dealt with at the Police‘s Economic Crime Unit are now the responsibility of the Special Prosecutor. The National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police will only be involved in receiving announcements and tip offs based on money laundering and terrorist financing laws – not in investigating potential legal violations. In addition, a committee will be appointed to review the organization and arrangement of investigations and prosecutions, and make suggestions for future improvements. Several new positions are being moved and established as a result of the merger.

The authorities’ collaborative committee on measures against money laundering continues to educate reporting parties, including those who have not received education or training regarding measures against money laundering. According to the FIU, considerable achievements have been made in this area and most reporting parties should now be able to comprehend the importance of such measures in their activities. A shortage of reports from non-financial institutions, however, indicates that more still needs to be done.

Travel Risk

Security

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.

Crime

The crime rate is low, but pickpocketing does occur. Be vigilant and pay attention to your surroundings at all times.

Road travel

Most roads in urban centres and national road no. 1 (“the ring road”) are paved. Many inland roads are unpaved, narrow and lack shoulders. Roads in the highlands are only open during summer months. It is strictly forbidden to drive off tracks in the highlands.

For up-to-date information on road and weather conditions, dial (+354) 522-1000 to reach the Icelandic Road Administration.

Public Transportation

Rail service is not available in Iceland. Municipal bus services are generally not available outside Reykjavik and the surrounding towns. Ferries and long-distance buses operate throughout the country. Taxis are available in major cities and populated areas throughout the country.

See Transportation Safety in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

Natural attractions

Exercise caution when visiting volcanic craters, glaciers, hot springs and other natural attractions, since there are few warning signs or barriers.

Demonstrations

Demonstrations occur occasionally and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media.

Trekking

Trekkers and backpackers should not travel alone or venture off marked trails. If you intend to trek:

a) never trek alone;

b) always hire an experienced guide and ensure that the trekking company is reputable;

c) buy travel health insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation;

d) ensure that you are in top physical condition;

e) advise a family member or friend of your itinerary;

f) know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal;

g) register with the Embassy, Consulate of Canada in Iceland; and

h) obtain detailed information on trekking routes before setting out.

Consult the website Safetravel.is (opens in new window) for advice from Icelandic search and rescue teams and to register your itinerary.

General safety information

Exercise normal safety precautions. Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times. Never leave personal belonging unattended and never leave valuables in a car.

Emergency services

Dial 112 for emergency assistance.

Address Format

RECIPIENT

STREET_NAME NUMBER
POSTAL_CODE LOCALITY
ICELAND

Sample

Gunther Árnasson
Þrúðvangur 5
220 HAFNARFIRÐI
ICELAND

Summary

Calendar GMT Reference Actual Previous Consensus Forecast
2014-09-19 10:00 AM Q2 2.4% -1.3% (R) 2.18%
2014-12-05 09:00 AM Q3 -0.2% 2.4% 5.65%
2015-03-10 09:00 AM Q4 3% -0.2% -0.63%
2015-06-05 10:00 AM Q1 3% -0.87%
2015-09-11 10:00 AM Q2 -0.73%
2015-12-08 09:00 AM Q3 -0.13%
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