Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive
On 19 June 2018, the fifth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD 5) was published in the official journal of the European Union. The AMLD5 modifies the fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD4) released only in 2015. The EU Commission proposed the revised AMLD in July 2016 as part of its Action Plan against terrorism announced in February 2016, after the attacks in Paris and Brussels, and as a reaction to the Panama Papers published in April 2016. The plan to implement the changes by January 2017 was overambitious; a final compromise text was reached only in December 2017. The AMLD 5 entered into force on July 9th, 2018. Member states were obliged to transpose the modified regulations into national law by January 2020.
in particular, the AMLD5:
- extends the scope to virtual currency platforms and wallet providers, tax related services and traders of art;
- grants access to the general public to beneficial ownership information of EU based companies;
- makes it an obligation to consult the beneficial ownership register when performing AML due diligence;
- obliges member states to create a list of national public offices and functions that qualify as politically exposed persons (PEP);
- introduces strict enhanced due diligence measures for financial flows from high-risk third countries;
- ends the anonymity of bank and savings accounts, as well as safe deposit boxes and creates central access mechanisms to bank account and safe deposit boxes holder information throughout the EU;
- makes information on real estate holders centrally available to public authorities;
- lowers thresholds for identifying purchasers of prepaid cards and for the use of e-money;
- further enhances the powers of the FIUs and facilitates cooperation and information exchange among authorities.