On May 7, 2020, the European Commission announced a new Action Plan designed to strengthen the EU’s fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. Over the next 12 months, the Action Plan aims to close loopholes and program vulnerabilities by refining the way that the Commission identifies countries with deficient anti-money laundering and counter terrorism programs. The Plan consists of six pillars:
• effective implementation by the European Banking Authority;
• harmonization of rules and their interpretation across the EU;
• enhanced supervision of rule enforcement;
• coordination and support for member state Financial Intelligence Units;
• improved data sharing between public and private sectors, and;
• alignment with Financial Action Task Force standards.
The Commission released an updated list of the following high-risk third countries -- the Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Cambodia, Ghana, Jamaica, Mauritius, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Panama, and Zimbabwe – and delisted several countries found to have improved their AML and anti-terrorist financing controls. The delisted countries are Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ethiopia, Guyana, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Sri Lanka, and Tunisia.