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European Commission refers three Member States to Court of Justice

European Commission

By Elizabeth Hearst

The European Commission has decided to refer Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failing to fully implement EU anti-money laundering rules. 

The referral and request for financial sanctions comes after these countries failed to implement the 4th Money Laundering Directive (AMLD4) into their national law. 

Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said, “We have robust EU rules in place but they must be applied consistently and efficiently.”

“We will make sure that everyone in both public and private sectors applies the rules rigorously. We have launched many infringement procedures to ensure the full transposition and application of our rules,” he added. 

The Commission concluded that these countries had not fully transposed AMLD4 into National law following an assessment of notified measures by Member States. 

These failures relate to incomplete transposition of fundamental aspects of Anti-Money Laundering framework such as betting and gambling legislation (Austria), mechanisms under Financial Intelligence Units exchange of documents and information (Belgium), and information to be provided on the beneficial ownership of corporate and other legal entities (The Netherlands). 

All EU Member States were obligated to implement the rules of AMLD4 by 26 June 2017. Following on from this, the Commission opened infringement proceedings against all Member States, as none had fully complied with AMLD4 by the original deadline. 

Currently, there are open infringement proceedings against eight Member States, three of which have received Reasoned Opinions, two of which are currently pending before the Court and finally three were referred today for incomplete transposition.