The Maltese Presidency secures another agreement to combat the financing of criminal activity in ECOFIN
The Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union has sealed another agreement in the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) on cash entering or leaving the European Union. The regulation is aimed at improving the current system of controls, with the objective to take into account the development of new best practices in the implementation within the EU of international standards on combating money laundering and terrorism financing.
Negotiations with the European Parliament can now commence after MEPs reach a position on the regulation.
Commenting on this latest achievement, ECOFIN President Minister for Finance Prof. Edward Scicluna stated that “criminal and terrorist networks take advantage of anonymity of cash payment transactions. That is why we need an effective system of cash declarations that can help authorities to better prevent and fight against illegal activities and reinforce security across the Union”.
The draft regulation extends the definition of cash to some instruments or methods of payment other than currency, such as cheques, traveller’s cheques, gold, and prepaid cards, and its scope has been extended to include cash sent by post, freight, or courier shipment.
Citizens entering or leaving the EU and carrying cash of a value of €10 000 or more, will be required to declare it to the customs authorities, and authorities in Member States will be empowered to exchange information where indicators point to some criminal activity relating to cash movements.
Source: Press Release issued by the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union