EU Adopts New Rules to Combat Money Laundering

published: 29.04.2024

On April 24, European Parliament adopted a package of laws strengthening the EU’s toolkit to fight money laundering and terrorist financing.

The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) package consists of the sixth Anti-Money Laundering (AML) directive, the EU “single rulebook”, and the Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA) regulation.

The new regulations ensure that people with a legitimate interest, including journalists, media professionals, civil society organisations, competent authorities, and supervisory bodies, will have immediate, direct and free access to beneficial ownership information held in national registries and interconnected at EU level. The registries will maintain data going back at least five years.

The laws also give Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) more powers to analyse and detect money laundering and terrorist financing cases as well as to suspend suspicious transactions.

The new laws include enhanced due diligence measures and checks on customers’ identity, after which obliged entities (e.g. banks, assets and crypto assets managers or real and virtual estate agents) have to report suspicious activities to FIUs and other competent authorities.

The legislation contains enhanced supervision provisions regarding ultra-rich individuals (total wealth worth at least EUR 50 000 000, excluding their main residence), an EU-wide limit of EUR 10 000 on cash payments, except between private individuals in a non-professional context, and measures to ensure compliance with targeted financial sanctions and avoid sanctions being circumvented.

To supervise the new rules on money laundering, the Authority for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AMLA) will be established. AMLA will directly supervise risky financial entities, acting as a central hub for supervisors and mediating disputes between them. AMLA will also supervise the implementation of targeted financial sanctions.

The laws must be formally adopted by the Council, after which they will be published in the EU’s Official Journal.


Press release

Directive 2021/0250 for the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing

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