Archive for July, 2018

5th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive published

Friday, July 20th, 2018

On June 19th, 2018, the 5th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD 5) was published in the official journal of the European Union.

The AMLD5 modifies the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD4) released only in 2015. The EU Commission proposed the revised AMLD in July 2016 as part of its Action Plan against terrorism announced in February 2016, after the attacks in Paris and Brussels, and as a reaction to the Panama Papers published in April 2016. The plan to implement the changes by January 2017 resulted overambitious; a final compromise text was reached only in December 2017. The new directive entered into force on July 9th, 2018. Member states are obliged to transpose the modified regulations into national law by latest January 20th, 2020.

The above mentioned Anti-Money Laundering Directive includes the following:

  • it extends the scope to virtual currency platforms and wallet providers, tax related services and traders of art;
  • grants access to the general public to beneficial ownership information of EU based companies;
  • makes it an obligation to consult the beneficial ownership register when performing AML due diligence;
  • obliges member states to create a list of national public offices and functions that qualify as politically exposed (PEP);
  • introduces strict enhanced due diligence measures for financial flows from high-risk 3rd countries;
  • ends the anonymity of bank and savings accounts, as well as safe deposit boxes and creates central access mechanisms to bank account and safe deposit boxes holder information throughout the EU;
  • makes information on real estate holders centrally available to public authorities;
  • lowers thresholds for identifying purchasers of prepaid cards and for the use of e-money;
  • enhances the powers of the FIUs and facilitates cooperation and information exchange among authorities.