On 7 December 2022, the European Council announced that it has agreed its position on an anti-money laundering (AML) regulation and a new directive (AMLD6).

The Council’s press release provides that:

  • The new anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) rules will be extended to the entire crypto sector, obliging all crypto-asset service providers (CASPs) to conduct due diligence on their customers. The Council demands CASPs to apply customer due diligence measures when carrying out transactions amounting to 1,000 euros or more, and adds measures to mitigate risks in relation to transactions with self-hosted wallets. The Council also introduces specific enhanced due diligence measures for cross-border correspondent relationships for CASPs.
  • Third-party financing intermediaries, persons trading in precious metals, precious stones and cultural goods, will also be subject to the rules, as will jewellers, horologists and goldsmiths. Furthermore, an EU-wide maximum limit of 10,000 euros is set for cash payments; Member States will have the flexibility to impose a lower maximum limit if they wish.
  • Third countries listed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will also be listed by the EU. There will be two EU lists, a ‘black list’ and a ‘grey’ list, reflecting the FATF listings. In addition, the Council has decided to make beneficial ownership rules more transparent and to further harmonise them. Related rules applicable to multi-layered ownership and control structures are also clarified.
  • The rules also set forth that, member states should ensure that any natural or legal person that can demonstrate a legitimate interest has access to information held in beneficial ownership registers, and such persons should include those journalists and civil society organisations that are connected with the prevention and combatting of money laundering and terrorist financing.
  • The package of rules foresees the clarification of outsourcing provisions, the clarification of supervisory powers, a minimum set of information to which all financial intelligence units should have access, as well as improved cooperation among authorities.

The Council is now ready to begin trilogue negotiations with the European Parliament in order to agree on a final version of the text.