Council Framework Decision 2001/413 on combating fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment

27-11-2017

Council Framework Decision 2001/413 (CFD) on combating fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment establishes minimum rules concerning the definition of criminal offences and sanctions related to fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment, as well as the mechanisms for cross-border cooperation and exchange of information. Adopted in 2001, the CFD is now 16 years old. Evidence collected through the Commission’s evaluation and stakeholder consultation confirms the existence of significant challenges related to the implementation of the CFD. Overall, it appears that the CFD has not caught up with the technological developments of payment instruments, nor with the increasingly advanced techniques of non-cash fraud. Many Member States have in the meantime updated their respective legal frameworks individually in an effort to respond to these developments. This has resulted in a patchwork of different frameworks within the EU. It has also potentially opened the door to 'forum shopping' (i.e. criminals exploiting the system by moving to those Member States that have more lenient sanctions). The challenges identified include outdated/incomplete definitions, different levels of penalties in Member States, differences in criminalisation of preparatory acts in Member States, difficulties in allocating jurisdiction, under-reporting to law enforcement bodies, etc. The Commission evaluation finds that ‘[a]s a whole, the [CFD] does not appear to have fully met its objectives.’ In the light of the above, in September 2017, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a new directive that would replace the CFD.

Council Framework Decision 2001/413 (CFD) on combating fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment establishes minimum rules concerning the definition of criminal offences and sanctions related to fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment, as well as the mechanisms for cross-border cooperation and exchange of information. Adopted in 2001, the CFD is now 16 years old. Evidence collected through the Commission’s evaluation and stakeholder consultation confirms the existence of significant challenges related to the implementation of the CFD. Overall, it appears that the CFD has not caught up with the technological developments of payment instruments, nor with the increasingly advanced techniques of non-cash fraud. Many Member States have in the meantime updated their respective legal frameworks individually in an effort to respond to these developments. This has resulted in a patchwork of different frameworks within the EU. It has also potentially opened the door to 'forum shopping' (i.e. criminals exploiting the system by moving to those Member States that have more lenient sanctions). The challenges identified include outdated/incomplete definitions, different levels of penalties in Member States, differences in criminalisation of preparatory acts in Member States, difficulties in allocating jurisdiction, under-reporting to law enforcement bodies, etc. The Commission evaluation finds that ‘[a]s a whole, the [CFD] does not appear to have fully met its objectives.’ In the light of the above, in September 2017, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a new directive that would replace the CFD.