EC Takes Action on Non-implementation of EU AML Laws
The European Commission (EC) has decided to refer Belgium, Ireland, Spain and Sweden to the European Court of Justice over non-implementation of the Third Anti-Money Laundering Directive. The transposition deadline for the Directive was 15 December 2007. The Directive tightens the EU anti-money laundering (AML) regime currently applicable to the financial sector as well as lawyers, notaries, accountants, real estate agents and casinos. The scope of the Directive is broadened also to encompass trust and company service providers as well as all providers of goods, when payments are made in cash in excess of €15,000. In addition, the Directive requires the application of the AML tools (identification and verification of customers’ identity, record keeping, training of personnel, etc.) to the fight against terrorist financing. The Directive also introduces additional requirements and safeguards for situations of higher risk (e.g. trading with correspondent banks situated outside the EU).