EU Commission calls on Latvia to correctly transpose anti-money laundering directive

  • 2024-04-26
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The European Commission in its latest report on infringement procedures against European Union (EU) member states has called on Latvia, as well as Ireland and France, to correctly transpose anti-money laundering directives, LETA was told at the press office of the European Commission's Representation in Latvia. 

The European Commission decided to open an infringement procedure by sending letters of formal notice to Ireland and France and an additional letter of formal notice to Latvia for having incorrectly transposed the 4th and 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directives.

These member states had notified a complete transposition of the amended directive. Nevertheless, the Commission has identified several instances of incorrect transposition (non-conformity) of the directive into national law. 

This failure affects, among others, key aspects of the directives like, in the case of France, not ensuring the completeness of the national Beneficial Ownership register (a database, where owners of a company or another legal entity are registered) by not including in it certain legal entities. 

In the case of Ireland, the failure refers to the current system not guaranteeing the adequacy and completeness of the information held in the Beneficial Ownership register of trusts as well as regards the accessibility of its information. 

In the case of Latvia, incorrect transposition affects in particular the functioning of its Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) by limiting its obligation to exchange information with other FIUs.

Anti-money laundering rules are instrumental in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing, the EU Commission underscores.

Recent money laundering scandals have revealed the need for stricter rules at EU level. Legislative gaps occurring in one member state have an impact on the EU. That is why EU rules should be implemented and supervised efficiently to combat crime and protect our financial system.

Ireland, France and Latvia have now two months to respond and address the shortcomings raised by the Commission. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may decide to issue a reasoned opinion.

In its regular package of infringement decisions, the European Commission pursues legal action against EUR member states for failing to comply with their obligations under EU law. These decisions, covering various sectors and EU policy areas, aim to ensure the proper application of EU law for the benefit of citizens and businesses.