EU Council agreement reached on the AML/CFT Legislative Proposal

New developments regarding the proposed Anti-Money Laundering Regulation (“AMLR”) and the sixth (6th) Anti-Money Laundering Directive (“AMLD6”) have emerged with the new political agreement reached at the European Union (“EU”) Council (the “Council”). This agreement comes pending the first reading of this legislative proposal by the European Parliament. With this agreement, the Council can now start its negotiations with the European Parliament in order to eventually agree and adopt the final version of the legislative text.

The legislative package containing the AMLD6 and AMLR was adopted by the European Commission on 20th July 2021. The Commission’s strategic plans to overhaul the anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism (“AML/CFT”) was welcomed by the European Parliament, which previously passed a resolution on 10th July 2020 calling for the strengthening of the AML/CFT EU rules. As previously mentioned, the Council agreed its position on the proposed AMLD6, paving the way for negotiations with the European Parliament.

The Council has proposed a number of changes to the legislative proposal, mainly including the following:

  • The list of Subject Persons is to be extended to include those persons trading in precious metals, precious stones, and cultural goods, as well as jewelers, horologists, and goldsmiths where the value of the transaction or linked transactions amounts to at least EUR 10,000;
  • Further clarification to the outsourcing rules, including which tasks may or may not be outsourced (particularly in the context of collective investment schemes);
  • The addition of further detailed rules regarding the scope of a Subject Persons’ policies and procedures, controls, and the compliance function of a Subject Person;
  • Rules on beneficial ownership have been developed in order to harmonise the interpretation of ‘ownership’ and ‘control’. These developed rules cover in a more clear manner those instances of beneficial ownership identification in the context of multi-layered structures for corporate and legal entities, and also more specifically in cases of express trusts, foundations, and collective investment schemes;
  • Further clarifications to the rules on the identification of class of beneficiaries;
  • The Financial Actions Task Force (“FATF”) listings of monitored high-risk jurisdictions, where these concern third countries, will be automatically replicated by the EU in two corresponding lists, provided that certain criteria are satisfied. This will avoid the replication of assessment and identification process by the FATF, and therefore ensuring a prompt transcription of the FATF listings.

These proposed changes are not yet final, and may therefore be subject to further changes.

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