On 28th of March 2023 the European Parliamant has published the press release with regard to the new EU measures against money laundering and terrorist financing.
According to this press release the Members of the European Parliament (hereinafter referred to as ‘MEPs’) approved stricter rules to close existing gaps in combating money laundering, terrorist financing and evasion of sanctions in the EU. MEPs from the Economic and Monetary Affairs and Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committees adopted their position on three pieces of draft legislation on the financing provisions of EU Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) policy.
The package consists of:
To restrict transactions in cash and crypto assets, MEPs want to cap payments that can be accepted by persons providing goods or services. They set limits up to €7000 for cash payments and €1000 for crypto-asset transfers, where the customer cannot be identified. MEPs want also to ban any citizenship by investments schemes (“golden passports”) and impose strong AML controls on residence by investment schemes ("golden visas”).
MEPs want member states to aggregate information on ownership of goods such as yachts, planes and cars worth over €200 000 or goods stored in free zones.
MEPs also agreed that beneficial ownership means having 15% plus one share, or voting rights, or other direct or indirect ownership interest, or 5% plus one share in the extractive industry or a company exposed to a higher risk of money laundering or terrorist financing.
In addition, information on beneficial ownership held in national central registers should be available digitally, in an EU official language plus English, and include current and historical information for a defined period.This information must be up to date and available to FIUs, AMLA, competent authorities, self-regulatory bodies and obliged entities. Not providing accurate and adequate data to registers will be sanctioned.
MEPs also decided that persons with legitimate interest, such as journalists, reporters, any other medias, civil society organisations, higher education institutions, should be able to access the register, including the interconnected central registers. Their access right will be valid for at least two and a half years. Member states will automatically renew access but also revoke it or suspend if it is abused.
MEPs have also indicated that MEPs wish to extend the agency’s competence to drawing up lists of high-risk non-EU countries. MEPs also want to give AMLA the powers to mediate between national financial supervisors and settle disputes, supervise and investigate the national implementation of the single AML rulebook, ensure stronger oversight of the supervisors in the non-financial sector and receive whistleblower complaints.
After a confirmation during a plenary session in April the negotiations on the AML/CFT package will be started by the European Parliament.
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