EU To Assess 3rd Countries’ Risk By The End Of 2018 For The 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive

; posted on
June 28th, 2018

Commissioner Jourová gave a speech in front of the Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance, at the European Parliament. Jourová emphasised the implementation of third countries’ risk assessment with respect to the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive.

Assessment of Third Countries’ Risks

By the end of 2018, the EU Commission is going to present its first Delegated Regulation updating the list of high-risk third countries based on the autonomous EU methodology which was published on 2018 June 22, according to Jourová. The assessment criteria are set on the ground of requirements under the Anti-Money Laundering Directive. A qualitative assessment will be done for each of those criteria taking into account the risk profile of the country, resulting in the identification of third countries presenting strategic deficiencies. The assessment of priority 2 countries will start in 2019, and according to Commissions’ estimate, more than 85% of all countries in the scope of the EU assessment will be covered by 2022.

The 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive

On April 19, 2018, the European Commission announced the adoption by the European Parliament of the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive. The proposal of the 5th was presented by the Commission in July 2016 in the wake of terrorist attacks and the revelations of the Panama Papers scandal, and is part of the Commission's Action Plan of February 2016 to strengthen the fight against terrorist financing. It sets out a series of measures to better counter the financing of terrorism and to ensure increased transparency of financial transactions, including:

  • enhance the powers of EU Financial Intelligence Units and facilitating their increasing transparency on who really owns companies and trusts by establishing beneficial ownership registers;
  • prevent risks associated with the use of virtual currencies for terrorist financing and limiting the use of pre-paid cards;
  • improve the safeguards for financial transactions to and from high-risk third countries;
  • enhance the access of Financial Intelligence Units to information, including centralised bank account registers.
  • ensure centralised national bank and payment account registers or central data retrieval systems in all Member States. 

Sources: EU Commission

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