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New authority (AMLA) to combat money laundering among the EU

In July 2021 the European Commission presented a new set of rules to further combat money laundering among the European Union. The legislative package contains four legislative proposals as part of the Security Union Strategy for 2020-2025. The main goal of these regulations is to further enhance the detection of suspicious trade and to further strengthen the existing legal framework, thus reducing the risk of illegal activities. 

The most important part of this new legislative package is the establishment of a new, union level authority called Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA). The main purpose of this new authority is to coordinate the administrative procedures between Member States, as well as to act as a supervisor regarding the implementation and compliance with the anti-money laundering regulations. AMLA is intended to supervise the riskiest financial institutions too in order to be able to act fast in case of suspicion. 

The legislative proposal would extend rules regarding cryptocurrencies to the entire crypto sector. The traceability of crypto payments shall be fully implemented in the near future and anonymous crypto wallets will be completely prohibited. In order to discourage anonymity in cash transactions too, large scale cash payments would be limited up to EUR 10,000. 

The European Commission expects these rules to fill the existing loopholes in the Union’s anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regime and to provide further transparency regarding payments among the Union.  The next step in the acceptance of these rules is the discussion of the European Parliament and Council. According to the Commissions plans the AMLA shall start its operation in 2024 after the implementation of the package.