The Council of the European Union has adopted a regulation aimed at improving controls on cash entering or leaving the Union. This follows an agreement reached with the European Parliament in June 2018.
“The regulation will improve the existing system of controls on cash entering or leaving the EU. It means that the latest developments in international standards on combating money laundering and terrorism financing developed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will be reflected in EU legislation,” a statement about the October 2 decision said.
In practical terms, the new regulation extends the definition of cash to cover not only banknotes but also other instruments or highly liquid commodities such as cheques, traveller’s cheques, prepaid cards and gold. The regulation is also extended to cover cash that is sent by post, freight or courier shipment.
The new legislation extends the obligation of any citizen entering or leaving the EU and carrying cash to a value of 10 000 euro or more to declare it to the customs authorities. The declaration will be required irrespective of whether travelers are carrying the cash in person, in their luggage or means of transport. At the request of the authorities they will have to make it available to be checked.
If the cash is sent by other means (“unaccompanied cash”), the relevant authorities will have the power to ask the sender or the recipient to make a disclosure declaration. The authorities will be able to carry out controls on any consignments, packages or means of transport which may contain unaccompanied cash.
Member states will exchange information where there are indications that cash is related to criminal activity which could adversely affect the financial interests of the EU. This information will also be transmitted to the European Commission.
The new regulation will not prevent member states from providing additional national controls on movements of cash within the Union under their national law, provided that these controls are in accordance with the Union’s basic freedoms, the statement said.
The Council and the European Parliament now need to sign the adopted regulation. The signed text will be published in the EU Official Journal and will enter into force on the 20th day following that of its publication.
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