The European Commission has published a third party study that analyses criminal sanctions legislation and practice in 11 Member States: Cyprus, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Among the criminal offences selected for review was money laundering. Key findings that the study found on this offence are:

  • all jurisdictions have an offence of money laundering, with all of them including the conduct of concealment;
  • the mens rea requirement varies across the Member States;
  • the Third Money Laundering Directive (the Directive) does not list aggravating or mitigating circumstances and may explain the discrepancies that exist at national level between the Member States;
  • the Directive does not provide any minimum or maximum penalties, which may explain the disparity between the Member States, which is significant between some of them; and
  • progress has been made towards consistency amongst the definition of the offence and some progress has been made with the related sanctions in the different Member States. However, there is scope for further approximation of both.

View Study on criminal sanction legislation and practice in representative Member States, 30 November 2013

View European Commission publishes study on criminal sanctions in the Member States, 3 June 2014