European Union publishes new list of high risk countries

The European Commission (EC) has published a new annual list of high risk third countries that it believes pose significant threats to the financial system of the European Union (EU) because of failings in tackling money laundering and terrorism financing.

The list aims to protect the EU’s financial system and the proper functioning of the internal market, but some countries on the list complain that their inclusion is unfair.

Country risks

Additional high risk third countries on the list are the Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Cambodia, Ghana, Jamaica, Mauritius, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Panama and Zimbabwe.

Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ethiopia, Guyana, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Sri Lanka and Tunisia have been deleted from the list.

Disadvantages

Banks and other financial institutions will need to conduct enhanced due diligence measures in any transaction or business relationship with a person established in a high-risk third country.

Companies located in listed countries are prohibited from receiving EU funds.

Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Vanuatu and Yemen remain on the list that was first introduced in 2016.

Complaints

Mauritius lobbied before the new list was announced against being included because of the extra costs and hassle for its companies doing business with the rest of the world.

Ghana has complained that its listing does not reflect its anti-money laundering regime.

The EC regulations on which the new annual list of high risk third countries is based and the reasons why they were listed or delisted can be found here.



Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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