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Brussels, 16 October 2008

Anti-money laundering: Commission takes action to ensure that Belgium, Ireland, Spain and Sweden implement EU laws

The European Commission has decided to refer Belgium, Ireland, Spain and Sweden to the European Court of Justice over non-implementation of the 3rd Anti-Money Laundering Directive. The transposition deadline for the Directive was 15 December 2007.

The Third Anti-Money Laundering Directive adopted in 2005 builds on existing EU legislation and incorporates into EU law the June 2003 revision of the Forty Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the international standard-setter in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

The Directive tightens the EU anti-money laundering regime currently applicable to the financial sector as well as lawyers, notaries, accountants, real estate agents and casinos. The scope of the Directive is broadened also to encompass trust and company service providers as well as all providers of goods, when payments are made in cash in excess of €15.000. In addition, the Directive requires the application of the anti-money laundering tools (identification and verification of customers' identity, record keeping, training of personnel, etc.) to the fight against terrorist financing.

The Directive introduces additional requirements and safeguards for situations of higher risk (e.g. trading with correspondent banks situated outside the EU).

The latest information on infringement proceedings concerning all Member States can be found at:

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