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Government commission: Moneyval assessment must be taken very seriously

30. September 2019 - 9:15

At the regular meeting of the Government AML/CFT Commission held on Wednesday, 25 September, the commission was given an overview of the activities of the Financial Supervision Authority, the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Prosecutor's Office in the prevention of money laundering during the last six months.

According to the head of the Government Commission, Finance Minister Martin Helme, it is important that the Commission has a regular and up-to-date overview of various money laundering investigations. The Commission also discussed the preparation of the Moneyval assessment and the status of the draft acts that improve the efficiency of money laundering prevention.

In the coming years, Estonia will be assessed by Moneyval, the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and Terrorist Financing. On this occasion, they will be looking at how we implement our various laws and regulations in practice and our institutions’ actual capacity for dealing with anti-money laundering measures.

According to the Finance Minister, preparing for the Moneyval assessment systematically and substantively is very important. “As a country, we have to make an effort here because the current situation may not be good enough to pass the assessment,” said Helme. “We cannot underestimate the potential risk that Estonia may end up in the list of countries subject to enhanced supervision in terms of anti-money laundering. This would have extremely negative consequences for the country’s international reputation, financial environment and related administrative burden.”

Regarding the development of the legislative framework, the Government Commission received an overview of the current status of the transposition of the European Union’s Anti-Money Laundering Directive V (AMLD V) into Estonian law. Some of the drafts required for transposition of the directive have now been approved by the government and the plan is to have all of the draft acts required for improving the efficiency of the prevention of money laundering approved by the government in the next couple of months. Both the Government Commission’s working groups and market participants have submitted their proposals for developing the legislative framework. All of the amendments important for transposing AMLD V into national legislation require parliamentary approval by the start of the new year.

At the meeting, the Commission was also given an overview of the current status of the Estonian domestic money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessment. The domestic risk assessment is a critical requirement for successfully passing Moneyval’s new assessment round.

The activities of the Estonian Government Commission in this field include the formulation of anti-money laundering and terrorist financing countermeasures, coordination in mapping state risks and the preparation of an action plan for mitigating the risks. The Commission’s members comprise representatives from several ministries, the Tax and Customs Board, the Prosecutor's Office, police institutions, the Bank of Estonia and the Financial Supervision Authority.

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