EU adopts package of measures against money laundering

On May 30, 2024, the Council of the European Union adopted a package of new regulations to combat money laundering.
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Among other things, the EU wants to take stronger action against money laundering with a binding upper limit for cash payments. The new rules at a glance.

Crypto sector and soccer clubs under obligation

On May 30, 2024, the Council of the European Union adopted a package of new regulations to combat money laundering. The stricter regulations are intended to significantly improve the mechanisms for combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

"With the regulation, for the first time EU-wide Comprehensive harmonization of anti-money laundering regulations and thus close loopholes for fraudsters," the EU Council explains in a statement.

This is how the Anti-money laundering regulations extended to new obliged entitiesThe regulation also applies to the majority of the crypto sector, traders in luxury goods and soccer clubs and agents. The regulation also sets out stricter due diligence requirements, rules on beneficial ownership and an upper limit of EUR 10,000 for cash payments.

EU-wide upper limit of 10,000 euros for cash payments

A new EU-wide upper limit of 10,000 euros for cash payments has been introduced, which basically affects all commercial traders.

However, the upper limit does not apply to transactions concluded between private individuals. This means that if a vehicle is sold from private to private, the purchase amount of over EUR 10,000 can still be paid in cash.

National governments can also set a lower limit.

AMLA to combat money laundering

The package of measures provides for the establishment of a new European Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Authority, which will have direct and indirect supervisory powers over high-risk financial institutions.

The Authority for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AMLA) will begin its work in Frankfurt am Main in mid-2025.

Given the cross-border nature of financial crime, the new authority will increase the effectiveness of the AML/CFT framework by creating an integrated mechanism with national supervisory authorities. The AMLA will ensure that obliged entities comply with their obligations to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in the financial sector. The AMLA will also play a supporting role in the non-banking sector and coordinate and support the FIUs.

Sanctions for breaches of money laundering regulations

The AMLA will also be authorized to impose fines in the event of systematic or repeated breaches of the regulations. This measure is intended to ensure compliance with the new rules and increase the effectiveness of the framework for combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

Direct access to bank account register

Another innovation is the central access point for information from the national bank account registers. This will be available exclusively to FIUs and national law enforcement authorities in order to facilitate the fight against crime and the tracing of proceeds of crime.

In addition, a standardized format for account statements will be introduced to further increase transparency and efficiency.

Roadmap for the new money laundering regulation

The Money Laundering Regulation will be applicable three years after its entry into force. The member states have two to three years to implement the directive. 

Link tip: Regulation on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing

"The new and stricter regulations will strengthen our systems to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. This will ensure that fraudsters, organized crime and terrorists have no room for manoeuvre," explains Belgian Finance Minister Vincent van Peteghem.

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