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p.14/36: EU anti money-laundering and terrorist financing

Paul Foley


Articles 1, 3 and 5
— Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing

Articles 2 and 4
— Obliged Entities

Articles 6 to 8

— Risk Assessments

Articles 9 and 18a
— High Risk Third Countries: Prescriptive Enhanced Due Diligence

Article 10
— Anonymous Accounts, Anonymous Passbooks, Anonymous Safe Deposit Boxes

Articles 10-14
— Customer Due Diligence

Article 15 to 17
— Customer Due Diligence
Applying Simplified Due Diligence (SDD)

Article 18, 18a-to 24
— Enhanced Customer Due Diligence (EDD)

Article 24
— Shell Banks

Articles 25 to 27
— Third Parties

Article 28
— Groups

Article 30
— Beneficial Ownership Information Corporates and Other Legal Entities

Article 31
— Trusts and other types of Legal Arrangements

Article 31
— Central Beneficial Ownership Register for Trusts

Article 31a
— Implementing Acts Technical Specifications and Procedures

Article 32
— Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) FIU Establishment and Functions

Article 32a
— Centralised Automated Mechanisms for Identifying Persons Holding or Controlling Bank Accounts and Payment Accounts

Article 33

— Co-operation by Obliged Entities and their Staff with FIUs

Article 36

— Reporting obligation on NCAs and supervisory bodies

Article 38

— Protection for Individuals who Report Suspicions

Article 39

— Prohibition on Disclosure of Information

Article 40

— Record Retention

Article 45

— Group Wide Policies and Central Contact Point for eMoney Issuers and Payment Services Providers

Article 47
— Registration of Providers of Exchange Services between Virtual Currencies and Fiat Currencies

Articles 58 to 61
— Harmonising Member States Administrative Sanctions and Measures for Breach

Article 59

— Special provision for Credit Institutions and Financial Institutions

Article 60

— Publication of Decisions to impose Administrative Sanctions or Measures


— Wire Transfer Regulation

Articles 5 & 6
— Transfer of funds within and to outside the Union

Article 4

— Obligations of the Payer PSP

Articles 7 and 8

— Obligations of the Payee PSP

Articles 10 to 13

— Obligations on the Intermediary PSP

Article 13

— Assessment and Reporting

Article 2

— Where the WTR does not apply

Article 16

— Record Retention

Articles 41 and 43 MLD4 and MLD5

— Data Protection

Central beneficial ownership register for trusts (Article 31)

The Article 31(1) beneficial ownership information of express trusts and similar legal arrangements must be held in a central beneficial ownership register set up by the Member State, where the trustee of the trust or person holding an equivalent position in a similar legal arrangement is established or resides. (Article 31(3a)).

The Article then goes on to provide which central  register applies, where the place of establishment or residence of the trustee is outside the Union, or where the trustees reside in different Member States, or where the trustee enters into multiple business relationships in the name of the trust or similar legal arrangement in different Member States.

The Article 31(1) information on the beneficial ownership of a trust or a similar legal arrangement must be accessible in all cases to:

  • (a) competent authorities (public authorities with responsibilities for combatting AML or CTF, and tax authorities) and FIUs, without any restriction;

  • (b) obliged entities, within the framework of customer due diligence in accordance with Chapter II;

  • (c) any natural or legal person that can demonstrate a legitimate interest;

  • (d) any natural or legal person that files a written request in relation to a trust or similar legal arrangement which holds or owns a controlling interest in any corporate or other legal entity other than those referred to in Article 30(1), through direct or indirect ownership, including through bearer shareholdings, or through control via other means (Article 31(4)). 

The information accessible to natural or legal persons referred to in points (c) and (d) shall consist of the name, the month and year of birth and the country of residence and nationality of the beneficial owner, as well as nature and extent of beneficial interest held (Article 31(4).)

obliged entities must not rely exclusively on the central register to fulfil their customer due diligence requirements (Article 31(6)).

In exceptional circumstances to be laid down in national law, where the access referred to in points (b), (c) and (d) of the first subparagraph of paragraph 4 would expose the beneficial owner to disproportionate risk or where the beneficial owner is a minor or otherwise legally incapable, Member States may provide for an exemption from such access to all or part of the information on the beneficial ownership on a case-by-case basis. Rights to an administrative review of the exemption decision and to an effective judicial remedy shall be guaranteed (Article 31(7a)).

Member States must ensure that the central registers referred to in paragraph 3a of this Article are interconnected via the European Central Platform established by Article 22(1) of Directive (EU) 2017/1132. (Article 31(9)).


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