Better tools to fight money laundering and terrorist financing

After negotiations with the Council, the plenary session of the European Parliament has today in Strasbourg adopted the final text of the new regulation on Controls of Cash entering or leaving the European Union.

This regulation will strengthen the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing by giving our competent authorities, the customs and the Financial Intelligence Units, the tools they need to fulfil their important task.

This legislation concerns cross border movements and most of these crimes are international. This is why it is especially important that we improved the exchange of data between the authorities in different member states. This cooperation can be further strengthened by our call for an assessment of the establishment of a European FIU. At the same time, we also ensured that data is protected and that information is not stored longer then needed.

Furthermore, criminals prove to be very creative in finding loopholes. We therefore have adapted a new definition of cash, which includes other highly liquid assets, such as gold and prepaid cards, to close these loopholes.

Moreover, penalties for non-declaration are highly divergent between member states. This encourages treaty-shopping. To avoid these cases, the regulation calls for more coordination of penalties.

Finally, information campaigns and material will ensure that law-abiding citizens are sufficiently informed about the requirement when crossing borders or sending parcels with sums of more than 10,000 Euros.