The Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (4 AMLD) (EU 2015/ 849) is due to be transposed by EU member states by 26 June 2017. Meanwhile proposals for a Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5 AMLD) which will amend 4 AMLD are at an advanced stage and are currently scheduled to be discussed by the EU Parliament on 23-26 October 2017. Legislation implementing most of the provisions of the 4 AMLD will most likely not be introduced here until after the 5 AMLD is settled, which is expected to be in Q4 2017.

  • However, Ireland has implemented certain aspects of Article 30 of 4 AMLD by virtue of the European Union (Anti-Money Laundering: Beneficial Ownership of Corporate Entities) Regulations 2016 which came into operation on 15 November 2016 (as detailed in our In Focus paper) and which require Irish corporates to obtain and hold certain information on their beneficial ownership.
  • In line with Article 31 of 4 AMLD, regulations imposing obligations on trusts to obtain and hold beneficial ownership information are expected later this year, the precise timing of these regulations is unclear.
  • Regulations relating to the maintenance and operation of central registers for information on beneficial ownership for corporates and trusts are also expected later this year.

Recent EU developments on the Risk- Based Approach

  • On 26 June, 2017 the European Supervisory Authorities issued guidelines on the risk factors (generic and sector specific) to be taken into consideration where simplified customer due diligence and enhanced customer due diligence is appropriate. There is a long lead-in time for compliance with these guidelines - competent authorities and firms should comply with these guidelines by 26 June 2018.
  • On 26 June, 2017 the EU Commission issued a supra-national assessment of the ML/TF risks in different sectors and financial products affecting the internal market and relating to cross-border activities. It identifies the areas which are most vulnerable to ML/TF risks as well as the techniques most commonly used by criminals to launder illicit funds, and includes recommendations to member states on how to manage such risks.