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EU rules to tackle money laundering, tax avoidance enter into force

Staff Writer |
Today, the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive in the EU enters into force. It strengthens the existing rules and will make the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing more effective.

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Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality said: “Terrorists and criminals still find ways to finance their activities and to launder illicit gains back into the economy. The new rules as of today are crucial to closing further loopholes.

"I urge all Member States to put them in place without delay: lower standards in one country will weaken the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing across the EU.

"I also call for quick agreement on the further revisions proposed by the Commission following the "Panama Papers" to increase transparency of beneficial ownership."

It also improves transparency to prevent tax avoidance.

This entry into force comes as discussions with the European Parliament and the Council on extra measures further reinforcing the Directive are already at an advanced stage.

Today the Commission also publishes a report which will support Member State authorities in better addressing money laundering risks in practice.

As required by the new directive, the Commission assessed the money laundering and terrorist financing risks of different sectors and financial products.

The report published today identifies the areas most at risk and the most widespread techniques used by criminals to launder illicit funds.

In July 2016, the Commission adopted a proposal to further reinforce these EU rules on anti-money laundering to counter terrorist financing and increase transparency about who really owns companies and trusts.

The Commission calls on the European Parliament and the Council to finalise this legislative work as soon as possible, so the new rules can enter into force quickly.

Building on the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, these new rules will create a robust EU anti-money laundering framework.

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