Saturday, October 31, 2020

EU Court of Justice fines Romania over partial anti-money laundering laws

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The Court of Justice of the European Union decided Romania should pay a EUR 3 million lump sum for the delayed, incomplete transposing of the directive on money laundering and terrorist financing.

Ireland was fined EUR 2 million over the same issue.

“Both Member States failed to transpose in full, within the period prescribed, the directive on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing,” the Court said in a press release.

Directive 2015/8491 aims to prevent the use of the EU’s financial system for the purposes of money laundering and terrorist financing. The member states had to transpose that directive into their national law by June 26, 2017 and notify the European Commission of the measures adopted in that regard.

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In August 2018, the European Commission referred Romania to the European Court of Justice for failing to implement this directive. The EC asked for “a daily penalty payment, as from the date of delivery of the judgment, for failure to fulfill the obligation to notify the measures transposing that directive and, secondly, a lump sum.” It later withdrew the request for the imposition of a daily penalty payment, “since that claim had become devoid of purpose as a result of Directive 2015/849 having been transposed in full into Romanian law and Irish law.”

Both Romania and Ireland disputed the Commission’s application for a lump sum, arguing it was disproportionate and unjustified.

By two Grand Chamber judgments delivered today, July 16, the Court upheld the actions brought by the EC. It maintained that Romania did not transpose the directive within the required time-frame, and it did not notify the Commission about it.

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