On July 5, 2016, the European Commission published proposed revisions to the EU Fourth Money Laundering Directive. The Commission is proposing to bring virtual currency exchange platforms and custodian wallet providers within the scope of 4MLD so that they would, among other things, be required to apply customer due diligence and establish place policies and procedures to detect, prevent and report money laundering and terrorist financing. The Commission is also proposing to lower, from EUR 250 to EUR 150, the thresholds for non-reloadable pre-paid payment instruments to qualify for the exemption from customer due diligence requirements. It further proposes to require all EU member states to set up automated centralized mechanisms to enable swift identification of holders of bank and payment accounts and to harmonize the regime on enhanced customer due diligence for countries that have weak AML & CFT regimes. Public access to information on beneficial ownership of companies and trusts engaged in commercial activities is also proposed and Financial Intelligence Units are to be given greater powers to request information from entities that are subject to 4MLD. Member states have until June 26, 2017 to transpose the requirements of the Fourth Money Laundering Directive into national law. However, the Commission is urging member states to bring forward transposition of 4MLD and the new proposals to January 1, 2017.

The Commission’s press release is available at: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-2380_en.htm, the related Factsheet is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/criminal/document/files/aml-factsheet_en.pdf and the amending Directive is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/criminal/document/files/aml-directive_en.pdf