Directive (EU) 2018/843 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 amending Directive (EU) 2015/849 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing, and amending Directives 2009/138/EC and 2013/36/EU was published in the Official Journal of the European Union (EU) of 19 June 2018.
The new Directive includes several measures intended to prevent terrorist financing more effectively and to increase the transparency of financial transactions. The draft pronouncement was presented by the Commission in July 2016, following several terrorist attacks and the “Panama Papers” scandal, and is a part of the Commission’s February 2016 Action Plan for strengthening the fight against terrorist financing, according to a press release published by the EC.
According to this document, the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive will enhance the powers of EU Financial Intelligence Units and facilitate their increasing transparency on who really owns companies and trusts by establishing beneficial ownership registers. At the same time, it will prevent risks associated with the use of virtual currencies for terrorist financing and limiting the use of pre-paid cards. The 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive will also 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; and ensure centralised national bank and payment account registers or central data retrieval systems in all Member States.
The pronouncement becomes effective twelve days after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union, and Member States should ensure that the necessary laws and administrative pronouncements ensuring compliance with this Directive become effective until 10 January 2020 at the latest.
We welcome the adoption by the European Parliament of the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive. These new rules will bring more transparency to improve the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing across the European Union. We want to thank the two co-rapporteurs, Mr Kariņš and Mrs Sargentini, and the shadow rapporteurs for their strong support and valuable expertise, which have hugely contributed to this result. With its vote, the Parliament concludes an ambitious round of negotiations initiated two years ago. In July 2016, in the aftermath of the terrible terrorist attacks that struck the EU and the vast financial dealings uncovered by the “Panama Papers”, the Commission decided to take urgent counter-measures. The revised directive is part of that action plan. We can be proud of the new measures, which will substantially improve the existing rules. We are today marking an important step in fighting against financial crime. But our work is not over. Fighting effectively against financial crime needs proper implementation of these rules and strong coordination amongst the different authorities. We commit to helping all Member States put them in place and to monitor their implementation. We want all EU Member States to uphold high standards in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing across the EU”, specifies the statement released on 19 April 2018 by First Vice-President Timmermans, Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Jourovà on the adoption by the European Parliament of the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive.