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  • EU Agrees Countering Money Laundering by Criminal Law Directive
    06/07/2018
    The Council of the European Union and the European Parliament have announced their agreement on new EU criminal sanctions for money laundering. The proposed Countering Money Laundering by Criminal Law Directive will complement the Fifth Money Laundering Directive, which was adopted in May 2018.

    The new Directive establishes minimum rules on the definition of criminal offences and sanctions in the area of money laundering. Member states will be required to implement national laws providing for money laundering offences by individuals to be punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least four years. National laws will continue to provide for additional measures, such as fines, temporary or permanent exclusion from public tender procedures, grants and concessions, and national laws will also provide for national courts to take into account any aggravating factors for sentencing.

    In addition, the new Directive establishes corporate liability for money laundering in certain circumstances and provides for corporates to face various sanctions, such as exclusion from entitlement to public benefits or aid, temporary or permanent exclusion from public tender procedures, grants and concessions, temporary or permanent disqualification from the practice of commercial activities, placing under judicial supervision, judicial winding-up and temporary or permanent closure of the establishments used for committing the offence.

    The new Directive also includes rules for establishing jurisdiction and for cross-border cooperation between member states.

    The U.K., Ireland and Denmark will not adopt the new Countering Money Laundering by Criminal Law Directive. In the U.K., this follows the approach in relation to EU criminal sanctions for market manipulation where the U.K. has implemented its own national regime instead.

    The new Directive must now be formally adopted by the Council and Parliament. It will enter into force 20 days after it has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union and member states will have up to 24 months to transpose the new provisions into national law.

    View Parliament's press release.

    View Council's press release.

    View details of the agreed Fifth Money Laundering Directive.

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