Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 - Draft Codes of Practice (Northern Ireland)

Closed 10 Apr 2024

Opened 15 Feb 2024


The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 contains a comprehensive package of measures designed to make the recovery of unlawfully held assets more effective.  POCA has been amended over the years, most recently by the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023

POCA provides for codes of practice to be made to guide those using the powers under it on the requirements of the legislation and on their responsibilities in certain functions.



Why your views matter

The Department of Justice (“the Department") is responsible for issuing new and revised codes of practice covering the operation of various powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA).  This period of consultation seeks views on two revised and one new codes of practice for Northern Ireland.  The codes are due to new and amended powers in the primary legislation.  

The codes of practice are:

  • Search, Seizure and Detention of Property
  • Investigations
  • Recovery of Cryptoassets: Search Powers

The consultation is open to everyone but is particularly relevant to anyone who is involved in or interested in the operation of the relevant POCA powers.

The consultation is in respect of the guidance provided in the codes of practice on the exercise of the powers, rather than the actual powers which are already passed in law.  Respondents should be aware of this distinction in making specific comments and suggestions. The codes are intended to be self-explanatory and so we would welcome views on any passages that you may consider confusing, ambiguous or lacking in clarity.

What happens next

The Consultation Period will end on Wednesday 10th April 2024.  We will consider the responses to this consultation and modify the draft codes if appropriate.  We will then lay the Codes in the Northern Ireland Assembly for approval, following which they will come into force.


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