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EU: Commission announces AML/CFT legislative proposals

The European Commission released, on 20 July 2021, four legislative proposals to strengthen the EU's anti-money laundering and countering terrorism financing ('AML/CFT') rules. In particular, the Commission highlighted that the proposals seek to improve the detection of suspicious transactions and activities, and to close gaps that may enable individuals to launder illicit proceeds or finance terrorist activities through the financial system. Furthermore, the Commission noted that the proposals take into consideration the challenges that come with technological innovations, such as virtual currencies, integrated financial flows, as well as the global nature of terrorist organisations.

The Commission outlined that the legislative package consists of the following:

  • a Proposal for a Regulation establishing the authority for AML/CFT ('the AMLA Regulation') with the aim of coordinating national authorities to ensure compliance across the private sector;
  • a Proposal for a Regulation on AML/CFT ('the AML/CFT Regulation'), containing directly-applicable rules, including in relation to customer due diligence and beneficial ownership;
  • a Proposal for a Sixth AML/CFT Directive ('AMLD6'), replacing the existing Fourth AML/CFT Directive (Directive (EU) 2015/849) (as amended), containing provisions that will be transposed into national law, such as rules on national supervisors and Financial Intelligence Units in Member States; and
  • a Proposal for a Regulation on information accompanying transfers of funds and certain crypto-assets ('the Crypto-Asset Regulation') which would expand the scope of the existing legislation to cover a broader category of crypto-asset service providers and include provisions aimed at regulating virtual asset transfers.

The proposals will now be discussed by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.

You can read the press release here, the AMLA Regulation here, the AML/CFT Regulation here, the AMLD6 here, the Crypto-Asset Regulation here, and the related FAQs here.