On 12 September 2018, the European Parliament adopted its first reading positions on two measures to counter money laundering within the EU:
- Regulation (EU) 2018/… of the European Parliament and of the Council on controls on cash entering or leaving the Union and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1889/2005 (the Regulation).
- Directive (EU) 2018/… of the European Parliament and of the Council on combating money laundering by criminal law (the Directive).
The Regulation, amongst other things, introduces EU-wide definitions and rules on money laundering related crimes. It further introduces a definition of ‘cash’, which should be defined as comprising four categories: currency, bearer-negotiable instruments, commodities used as highly-liquid stores of value and certain types of prepaid cards. Authorities will also be able to register information about cash movements below the current €10,000 threshold and to temporarily seize cash if they suspect criminal activity.
The Directive addresses the criminalisation of money laundering when it is committed intentionally and with the knowledge that the property was derived from criminal activity. The Directive introduces EU-wide minimum penalties for money laundering activities, including a minimum of four years of imprisonment. The Directive seeks to give guidance to Member States and Authorities on procedures relating to legal proceedings concerning money-laundering.