The Netherlands Launches Consultation On Implementation of Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive

; posted on
December 13th, 2018

The Dutch Ministry of Finance announced, by way of a press release, that it had launched a public (internet) consultation on draft legislation implementing 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 (the Fifth AMLD).

The Highlight of the Directive

Among other things, the fifth AMLD will:

  • Enhance the powers of EU Financial Intelligence Units – providing access to centralized bank and payment account registers (that are to be set up by the EU Member States);
  • Revoke the anonymity on electronic money products – better address the risks of terrorist financing taking place through the anonymous use of virtual currencies and pre-paid instruments;
  • Enhance cooperation between EU financial supervisory authorities – the directive improves the exchange of information (and cooperation) between anti-money laundering supervisors and financial supervisory authorities (including the European Central Bank)
  • Extend the checking on transactions involving high risk third countries – the Commission will include on its list third countries with low transparency on beneficial ownership information, no appropriate and dissuasive sanctions or which do not cooperate nor exchange information;
  • Improve transparency – beneficial ownership registers for legal entities, such as companies, will be public. This wider access to beneficial ownership information will enhance public scrutiny and will contribute to preventing the misuse of legal entities for money laundering and terrorist financing purposes.

Spotlight on Virtual Currencies

The directive extends the scope of the EU anti-money laundering requirement by including virtual currency exchange platforms. The Directive defines “virtual currency” as a “digital representation of value that is not issued or guaranteed by a central bank or a public authority, is not necessarily attached to a legally established currency and does not possess a legal status of currency or money, but is accepted by natural or legal persons as a means of exchange and which can be transferred, stored and traded electronically.

The Consultation

The explanatory notes to the bill explain that the reasons to adopt the measures in fifth AMLD is due to the emergence of technological services being increasingly used as alternative financial systems, the increased intertwining of organized crime and terrorism, and the desirability of better cooperation between competent authorities within EU.

The proposed bill is expected to implement by 10 January 2020 as mandated by the directive and this bill is open to consultation. The consultation period ends on 15 January 2019.

Source: Dutch Government

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