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Parliamentary questions
PDF 38kWORD 17k
15 April 2020
Answer given by Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-000372/2020

The 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive(1) (5AMLD) introduced in 2018 a first set of anti-money laundering requirements related to virtual currencies. Meanwhile, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) adopted in October 2018 broader definitions of ‘virtual assets’ and ‘virtual asset service providers’(2). In addition, the Commission published in July 2019 its second Supranational Risk Assessment Report(3), in which the level of threat related to virtual currencies and virtual assets was considered as significant for both money laundering and terrorism financing.

The Commission plans to propose new legislative proposals in the first quarter of 2021 to ensure a more comprehensive EU policy on preventing money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). Work at international level would suggest a need to expand the scope of sector or entities covered by AML/CFT to all virtual assets providers.

The Commission intends to come forward with a legislative initiative on crypto-assets(4) in the third quarter of 2020. To prepare this initiative, the Commission carried out a public consultation between December 2019 and March 2020.

This consultation had a dedicated section on AML/CFT aspects of crypto-assets. In particular, it asked for stakeholders’ views on the need to align the definition used in the EU AML/CFT framework with the FATF recommendation or with a ‘crypto-asset’ definition. The Commission will take those stakeholders’ views into account when preparing its impact assessment and legislative proposal.

(1)Directive (EU) 2018/843 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 amending Directive (EU) 2015/849 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing, and amending Directives 2009/138/EC and 2013/36/EU, OJ L 156, 19.6.2018.
(2)See Outcomes of the FATF Plenary, 17-19 October 2018, http://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/fatfgeneral/documents/outcomes-plenary-october-2018.html .
(3)Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the assessment of the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing affecting the internal market and relating cross-border activities, COM(2019) 370 final, 24.7.2019.
(4)See the Inception Impact Assessment adopted on 19.12.2019, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/DOC/?uri=PI_COM:Ares(2019)7834655&from=EN
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