The European Commission has referred the three countries to the Court of Justice of the European Union, seeking financial sanctions to be levied on them for their alleged incomplete transposition of the AML rules
Austria, Belgium, and the Netherlands are being taken to court by the European Commission (EC) for their alleged failure in fully implementing the European Union (EU) anti-money laundering rules (AML rules).
In this regard, the European Commission has referred the three countries to the Court of Justice of the European Union, seeking financial sanctions to be levied on them.
The three countries have been charged with not completely implementing the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD4) into their respective national laws. This was after the governing body completed its evaluation of the notified measures.
The Commission said that the incomplete transposition of the AML rules pertains to basic aspects of the anti-money laundering framework, which includes betting and gambling legislation for Austria. On the other hand, for Belgium, the concern was about the mechanisms under which the financial intelligence units exchange documents and information.
For the Netherlands, the incomplete transposition is about the information to be provided on the beneficial ownership of corporate and other legal entities.
Member states had a deadline to fully implement the AML rules
According to the Commission, all the member states of the EU were supposed to implement the rules of the AMLD4 by 26 June 2017. After passing the deadline, the governing body opened infringement proceedings against all the member states, as none of them notified it about the full transposition of the AML rules.
The Commission said that there are open infringement procedures on incomplete transposition against eight countries. Of these, three countries have received reasoned opinions, two of them have pending proceedings before the court, while the other three are Austria, Belgium, and the Netherlands, which have been referred to the court.
European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said: “We have robust EU rules in place but they must be applied consistently and efficiently. We will make sure that everyone in both private and public sectors applies the rules rigorously.
“We have launched many infringement procedures to ensure the full transposition and application of our rules.”