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Fourth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive enters into force

The Fourth EU Anti Money Laundering Directive (the Directive) entered into force on 26 June 2017. The Directive aims in enhancing the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing through the strengthening of existing rules, as well as in improving transparency in an effort to prevent tax avoidance.

The Directive covers the following main areas:

strengthening the risk assessment obligation for banks, lawyers, and accountants;
setting clear transparency requirements with regards to beneficial ownership. Relevant information will be maintained in a central register and will be available to national authorities and obliged entities;
facilitating cooperation and exchange of information between Financial Intelligence Units from different Member States to identify and monitor suspicious transfers of money to prevent and detect crime or terrorist activities;
establishing a coherent policy towards non-EU countries that have deficient anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing rules; and
reinforcing the sanctioning powers of competent authorities.

The European Commission also published on 26 June 2017 the Supranational Risk Assessment Report (the Report) which will support Member State authorities in better addressing money laundering risks in practice. The Report analyses the risks in the financial and non-financial sector and examines emerging risk areas such as virtual currencies or crowd funding platforms. An assessment is performed on the money laundering and terrorist financing risks related to various sectors and financial products, spotting the areas which are mostly at risk as well as the most popular techniques used by criminals to launder illicit funds.


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