Twenty EU states criticised for not implementing money laundering directive

Thursday, 28 June 2018
The European Commission's Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova has criticised the 'slow and unsatisfactory' transposition of the EU Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (4AMLD) into Member States' national law.


The transposition deadline expired more than a year ago. Only a handful of Member States met it.

Most of the other States' reluctance to transpose 4AMLD is due to its measures requiring the setting up of national registries of beneficial ownership. Some, notably the Netherlands, have announced that they are not even going to try to implement a national registry until 4AMLD's successor, the EU Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, has to be transposed in January 2020.

In a speech this week to the European Parliament's Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance, marking the anniversary of the transposition deadline, EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said she was 'disappointed' at Member States' slow implementation of 4AMLD.

The Commission has opened infringement procedures for non-transposition against 20 Member States, she revealed. Although most Member States have notified the Commission about their missing transposition measures, the Commission is continuing infringement proceedings against those whose transposition remains missing or incomplete.

Jourova also revealed that the detailed methodology for assessing third countries at high risk of money laundering was completed last Friday (22 June) and circulated to relevant parties. This process will, she said, be 'transparent' to the countries concerned.

There will be an initial prioritisation process to decide which jurisdictions need to be assessed, to be complete by the end of this year. A qualitative assessment will be done for each of the criteria in 4AMLD, taking into account the risk profile of the country, resulting in the identification of third countries presenting strategic deficiencies. By the end of this year, the Commission will present its first Delegated Regulation updating the list of high-risk third countries, based on the EU methodology. These countries will be followed up in 2019, to monitor their progress.

At the same time, the Commission will also begin its assessment of lower-priority countries. It expects more than 85 per cent of all relevant countries will be covered by 2022 – meaning most of the countries with substantial transactions with the EU financial system, said Jourova.


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