Estonia, EU – Baltic States, Financial Services, Legislation

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Wednesday, 16.10.2019, 00:41

Estonia has fully transposed anti-money laundering directive into national law

BC, Tallinn, 09.11.2018.Print version
The Ministry of Finance said LETA/BNS that Estonia has fully transposed the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive of the European Union into national law and will respond to the criticism by the European Commission within two months.

"According to the Ministry of Finance, Estonia has fully transposed the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive of the EU into our law. We have received the European Commission's reasoned opinion and will respond to it within the prescribed two months. In our response, we will explain in greater detail how the referenced articles have been transposed into Estonian law," told Ott Heinapuu, spokesperson for the Ministry of Finance.

"For example, it was highlighted in the opinion that Estonia has not taken over the article regarding the filing of the data regarding actual beneficiaries, while provisions regarding the registry of actual beneficiaries were adopted last year and the registry was implemented in Estonia last month. Estonia has since 2008 already also applied the requirement of risk-based approach regarding supervision and procedural rules of obligated persons. The existence of anonymous accounts is entirely ruled out in Estonia, which is why no measures of diligence have been stipulated regarding them," Heinapuu said.

"But we will analyze the opinion of the European Commission and, if necessary, be prepared to clarify the wording of some provisions of the law," he said.

The European Commission decided on Thursday to send a reasoned opinion to Estonia and a letter of formal notice to Denmark for failing to completely transpose the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive into national law. Estonia and Denmark now have two months to respond and take the relevant action otherwise the European Commission may pursue the next infringement steps, including referral to the Court of Justice. 

Despite these member states having declared their transposition to be complete, the Commission assessed the notified measures and concluded some provisions are missing, a press release by the Commission says.

"EU anti-money laundering rules are crucial in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing. Following the recent money laundering scandals in the EU, the European Commission considers it a matter of urgency that all the member states transpose this directive as fast as possible. Gaps in one member state can have an impact on all others. All member states had to transpose the rules of the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive by June 26, 2017," the Commission said.

As most member states did not transpose the directive on time, the Commission opened non-communication infringement procedures against 21 member states. By now, most member states have adopted national laws. However, the Commission has already referred Romania and Ireland to the Court of Justice on this matter and on Thursday adopted a decision to refer Luxembourg to the court for transposing only part of the Directive.

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