On 13 December 2023, the Council of the EU announced that it had reached provisional agreement with the European Parliament as regards a proposed Regulation establishing a new EU anti-money laundering authority (AMLA).

On 20 July 2021, the European Commission issued legislative proposals designed to strengthen the EU’s rules on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism. The package consists of a:

  • Regulation establishing a new AMLA.
  • Regulation recasting the Regulation on transfers of funds which aims to make transfers of crypto-assets more transparent and fully traceable.
  • Regulation on anti-money laundering requirements for the private sector.
  • Directive on anti-money laundering mechanisms.

The Council and European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the Regulation on transfers of funds on 29 June 2022.

In its press release the Council notes that:

  • AMLA will have direct and indirect supervisory powers over high-risk obliged entities in the financial sector.
  • The provisional agreement adds powers to AMLA to directly supervise certain types of credit and financial institutions, including crypto asset service providers, if they are considered high-risk or operate across borders.
  • AMLA will carry out a selection of credit and financial institutions that represent a high risk in several Member States. The selected obliged entities will be supervised by joint supervisory teams led by AMLA that will among other things carry out assessments and inspections. The agreement entrusts the authority to supervise up to 40 groups and entities in the first selection process.
  • For non-selected obliged entities, AML/CFT supervision would remain primarily at national level.
  • National supervisors will be able to voluntarily set up a college for a non-financial entity operating across borders if deemed needed.

The provisional agreement leaves out a decision on the location of AMLA’s seat, a matter that continues to be discussed on a separate track.

The text of the provisional agreement will now be finalised and presented to Member States’ representatives and the European Parliament for approval. If approved, the Council and the European Parliament will have to formally adopt the texts.

Negotiations between the Council and European Parliament on the Regulation on anti-money-laundering requirements for the private sector and the Directive on anti-money laundering mechanisms are still ongoing.