On June 19th, 2018, the fifth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD 5) was published in the official journal of the European Union. All member states are required to adopt the modified regulations no later than 20th of January 2020. The directive is based on it’s predecessor AMLD4, but has the following amendments to it:

Enhance transparency by setting up publicly available registers for companies, trusts and other legal arrangements;

Enhance the powers of EU Financial Intelligence Units, and provide them with access to broad information for the carrying out of their tasks;

Limit the anonymity related to virtual currencies and wallet providers, but also for pre-paid cards;

Broaden the criteria for the assessment of high-risk third countries and improve the safeguards for financial transactions to and from such countries;

Set up central bank account registries or retrieval systems in all Member States;

Improve the cooperation and enhance of information between anti-money laundering supervisors between them and between them and prudential supervisors and the European Central Bank.

Thresholds for Prepaid Cards and E-Money transactions will be lowered

The threshold for identifying holders of prepaid cards will be lowered from EUR 250 to EUR 150. E-Money Online transactions with prepaid cards will be limited to max. EUR 50. These amounts can be further lowered by member states, but not increased.

Under MLD4, Member States may allow obliged entities to apply simplified due diligence measures with respect to e-money which meets certain conditions, including threshold amounts. MLD5 reduces these amounts and introduces restrictions on anonymous prepaid cards issued in third countries.