On 24 February 2020, the Dutch Minister of Finance (the Minister) sent a letter to the Dutch Senate (Eerste Kamer) on the three pending legislative proposals implementing the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (Vijfde anti-witwasrichtlijn, 5MLD) in the Netherlands:

  1. the Act implementing 5MLD (Implementatiewet wijziging vierde anti-witwasrichtlijn);
  2. the Act implementing the ultimate beneficial ownership (UBO) register for companies and other legal entities (Implementatiewet registratie uiteindelijk belanghebbenden van vennootschappen en andere juridische entiteiten); and
  3. the Bank Data Retrieval Portal Act (Wet verwijzingsportaal bankgegevens).

The implementation deadline for the first two proposals of 10 January 2020 was missed. These two proposals were submitted to the Dutch Senate in December 2019, following which questions were raised by members of the Dutch Senate and these were recently answered by the Minister.

In the letter the Minister states that further investigation is required. Further questions are expected in relation to the Act implementing 5MLD and in relation to the Act implementing the UBO register for companies and other legal entities advice will be requested from the Dutch Council of State (Raad van State). The Minister notes that the European Commission sent a letter of formal notice to the Netherlands for not having notified any implementation measures for the 5MLD. Without a satisfactory response from the Netherlands within two months, the Commission may decide to send a reasoned opinion. The Minister asks the Dutch Senate for an expeditious yet careful consideration of these legislative proposals and to deal with each proposal separately going forward (so hopefully at least part of the implementing measures can take effect as soon as possible).