BRUSSELS – The European Commission is pursuing infringement procedures against fifteen member states – Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Slovakia – for failure to implement the Third Anti-Money Laundering Directive (3MLD) into national law.
The Third Anti-Money Laundering Directive adopted in 2005 builds on existing EU legislation and incorporates into EU law the June 2003 revision of the Forty Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force, the international standard-setter in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. The directive is applicable to the financial sector as well as lawyers, notaries, accountants, real estate agents, casinos, trusts and company service providers. Its scope also encompasses all providers of goods, when payments are made in cash in excess of €15,000.Those subject to the directive are required to identify and verify the identity of their customer and of its beneficial owner, and to monitor their business relationship with the customer; report suspicions of money laundering or terrorist financing to the public authorities – usually, the national financial intelligence unit; and take supporting measures, such as ensuring proper training of personnel and the establishment of appropriate internal preventive policies and procedures.
The directive also introduces additional requirements and safeguards for situations of higher risk (for example, trading with correspondent banks situated outside the EU). The directive should have been implemented by December 15, 2007. If there is no satisfactory reply within two months, the commission may refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.