Deal on new EU measures against money laundering  

Press Releases 
  • Uniform EU supervision 
  • More powers for Financial Intelligence Units  
  • Access for competent authorities to new registers and necessary information sources 
  • Harmonised content and access to beneficial owners’ registers 

On Wednesday, MEPs struck a deal with the Council on new measures to beef up EU toolkit to fight money laundering, terrorist financing and sanctions evasion.

Negotiators from the Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) and Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) committees reached a provisional agreement with the Belgian presidency of the Council on the sixth Anti-Money Laundering (AML) directive.


Negotiators agreed on harmonising the powers and measures taken by supervisors to ensure that obliged entities such as banks and other economic operators apply AML requirements and more stringent sanctions for entities breaching their AML obligations.

Financial Intelligence Units

Financial intelligence unit (FIU) will have more power to analyse and detect money laundering and terrorist financing cases as well as to suspend suspicious transactions, accounts or business relationships. FIUs will share information with each other and with competent authorities as well as cooperate with the Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA), Europol, Eurojust and the European Public Prosecutor’s office. As a key tool, they will be able to launch together “joint analysis” for complex or cross-border cases, with the assistance of AMLA.

FIUs and other competent national authorities will have access to information on beneficial ownership, bank accounts, land or real estate registers or certain high value goods (transfer of ownership with a threshold of 250,000 EUR for cars and 7.5 million EUR for yachts and planes).

MEPs also made sure that FIUs will have to create the position of a Fundamental Rights Officer to protect the rights of citizens.

Beneficial owners’ registers

The negotiators agreed to further harmonise the content and functioning of the beneficial owners’ registers, which will disclose the natural persons owning or controlling legal structures. Information on beneficial ownership will be available digitally in national central registers and through an interconnected system of registers at the EU level. It will include current and historical information for at least five years and no more than 10 years (plus additional five in case of ongoing criminal investigations). This information will have to be accurate, adequate and up to date. Authorities will be required to screen information in relation to targeted financial sanctions, to detect any ownership or control changes aimed at circumventing sanctions.

Access for authorities and media

Member states should ensure immediate, unfiltered, direct and free access to beneficial ownership information held in national registers and through their interconnection at EU level for competent authorities, supervisory bodies, tax authorities, AMLA, the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), Europol and Eurojust. When taking customer due diligence measures, entities will also have timely access to the interconnected registers, subject to a fee.

Negotiators also agreed that people with legitimate interest journalists, reporters, other media, civil society organisations, higher education institutions will be able to access the register, including the interconnected ones.

Their access will be granted within 12 working days and be valid for three years. Member states will automatically renew access, but also revoke or suspend it if abused. Access fees will be reasonable, so they will not undermine effective access to information.


Luděk NIEDERMAYER (EPP, CZ), the lead MEP on behalf of the ECON Committee said: “We will close the plethora of loopholes that exist and which make life far too easy for money launderers. We will pave the way to tracing the ultimate beneficial owners of companies, real- and land estate. In digital age we must also make sure that data are available quickly and can be processed effectively.”

Paul TANG (S&D, NL), the lead MEP on behalf of the LIBE Committee said: "This agreement boldly declares an end to the era when the EU served as a sanctuary for the wealthy seeking refuge for their dirty money and high value goods like cars, boats and planes. National borders can no longer be exploited by those who exploit the financial system. The new AML Directive dismantles barriers that have allowed money launderers and oligarchs to operate with impunity. Europe stands united against these illicit activities, leaving no room for criminal endeavours to thrive within our borders."

Next steps

The deal needs to be formally adopted by Parliament and Council before it can come into force.


The agreed provisions are part of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) package. In December 2023, Parliament and the Council negotiating teams reached a political agreement on establishing an Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA).