The Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5) is finally on its way to being transposed into Irish law.
On 10 August 2020, the Cabinet of Ireland gave their approval to the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill 2020, effectively giving Minister for Justice and Equality Helen McEntee the go-ahead to publish the new bill.
The new bill was introduced only a month after the European Court of Justice imposed a €2m fine on Ireland for delays in implementing the new EU rules and just two months after legislation transposing the Fourth EU Money Laundering Directive into Irish law was brought into effect.
Under AMLD5, member states originally had until 10 January 2020 to transpose the directive into national legislation. Ireland was not the only member not able to make the original deadline and implement the new anti-money laundering measures locally.
Released on 19 June 2018, the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive was published roughly a year after the enactment of its predecessor, mostly adding to and expanded the scope of the earlier iteration of the directive, instead of overhauling it.
As stated in the official Government release, the Bill includes provisions to:
- improve the safeguards for financial transactions to and from high-risk third countries and sets new limits on the use of anonymous pre-paid cards;
- bring a number of new ‘designated bodies’ under the existing legislation, this includes virtual currency providers and associated online ‘wallet providers’ for virtual currencies as well as dealers and intermediaries in the art trade;
- prevents credit and financial institutions from creating anonymous safe-deposit boxes;
- enhance the customer due diligence (CDD) requirements of the existing legislation;
- provide for Ministerial guidance which will clarify domestic “prominent public functions” (aka Politically Exposed Persons or PEPs).
Amendments will also address Ireland’s international obligations, relating to a robust regulatory framework for new technologies, new products and new practices, as identified by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The bill also allows for provisions which are not required by the Directive but will support CAB and An Garda Síochána with regard to their power to access bank records and the administration of their functions in respect of anti-money laundering.