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EU warns several Member States of need to reform their anti-money laundering legislation

EU warns several Member States of need to reform their anti-money laundering legislation

On 12 February 2020 the information that European Commission has sent formal written notices to some Member States warning on non-compliance of their national anti-money laundering and terrorist financing (AML/FT) legislation with current European standards established by EU Directive 2018/843 and other acts has appeared.

According to European Commission, the legislation of the following states does not to comply with European AML/FT standards: Cyprus, Hungary, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. These states have not completed their previous commitment to arrange necessary reforms in order to strengthen AML/FT regime in particular sectors before January 2020.

Directive (EU) 2018/843 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive (EU) 2015/849 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing, and amending Directives 2009/138/EC and 2013/36/EU, also known as 5th AML Directive, has been adopted in 2018. This Directive was the first document to regulate AML risks in such sectors as cryptocurrencies exchanges and shell companies, mainly by establishment of identification rules for cryptocurrencies users and restriction of banking servicing of shell companies.

After analysis of national AML/FT legislation in EU Member States, the European Commission made a conclusion that 8 of 27 Member States has not implemented the abovementioned provisions of Directive (EU) 2018/843 properly by national legislative acts in due time. If this gap is not filled by legislators, the fine may be imposed on their Member States, or Member States will be subject to other liability.

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