Member States Veto EU Commission’s Blacklist of High Risk Third Countries for AML Purposes
At a working group meeting last week, 27 of the 28 Member States indicated they will vote against the Commission’s Delegated Regulation identifying a list of high-risk third countries with deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing regimes, in compliance with obligations under the 4th and 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directives.
The jurisdictions included on the Delegated Regulation are: Afghanistan, American Samoa, The Bahamas, Botswana, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Ethiopia,Ghana, Guam, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Puerto Rico, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, US Virgin Islands and Yemen.
Member States were reportedly discontent with the methodology used to determine whether a jurisdiction would be included on the list, as well as the limited number of days to review the Regulation. Certain inclusions also threaten trade deals between Member States and countries included on the list, in particular with Saudi Arabia. To that end, a group of center-left and left MEPs have written a letter expressing their displeasure that Member States are attempting to have certain jurisdictions removed from the list. The final deadline for Member States to oppose the Regulation is 13 March, and will be formally voted in the coming week.