The European Commission adopted this week a new list of 23 countries with strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing frameworks. The previous list included 16 countries. The list includes countries with which EU and Member States have close trade and financial aid relations, such as Iran, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi-Arabia, Syria and Tunisia.
The aim of the list is to protect the EU financial system by better preventing money laundering and terrorist financing risks. As a result of the listing, banks and other entities covered by EU anti-money laundering rules will be required to apply increased checks (due diligence) on financial operations with these countries.
“We have established the strongest anti-money laundering standards in the world, but we have to make sure that dirty money from other countries does not find its way to our financial system, “ Commissioner Vera Jourová said (13 February).
“Dirty money is the lifeblood of organised crime and terrorism. I invite the countries listed to remedy their deficiencies swiftly. The Commission stands ready to work closely with them to address these issues in our mutual interest.”
The list will now be submitted to the European Parliament and Council for approval within one month. Once approved, the Delegated Regulation will be published in the Official Journal and will enter into force 20 days after its publication.
The Brussels Times