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The 6th Anti Money Laundering Directive (6AMLD): The 5 Key Changes

Updated: Dec 14, 2022


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The 6th Anti Money Laundering Directive (6AMLD) came into force at EU level on the 2nd of December 2018. 6AMLD had to be transposed into national law by 3rd December 2020 and an extension until the 3rd of June 2021 was given.


Following the 5AMLD, the 6th AML Directive aims to strengthen financial institutions' efforts to fight money laundering and terrorist financing through expanding the scope of existing legislation, clarifying a range of regulatory details, and tightening criminal penalties.


From now on, banks, financial institutions, and other obligated entities will be required to prepare their AML compliance teams for the changes that the new directive introduces.


Why a new AML/CTF directive?


6AMLD defines criminal offenses and sanctions in money laundering in order:

  • to facilitate police and judicial cooperation between EU countries and

  • to prevent criminals from exploiting more lenient legal systems.

What are the key changes?


1. Harmonized definition of a “predicate crime”

6AMLD lists 22 specific predicate crimes relevant to money laundering, which must be criminalized by national law if they haven’t been already (Article 2 (1)).


2. Clarification on what a money laundering offence is (Article 3) and its sanctions (Article 5)

  • Having the knowledge of the conversion or transfer of property resulting from criminal activity;

  • Conceal or disguise the true nature, source, ownership of a property resulting from criminal activity;

  • Having the knowledge of the acquisition, possession or use of property, knowing at the time of receipt, that the property resulted from criminal activity.

Extension of these 3 offenses to a person that aided and abetted, incited, or attempted to commit the crimes listed in article 3. (Article 4)


3. Aggravating circumstances (Article 6)


6AMLD states that the offences listed in article 3 and 4 shall be considered as aggravating circumstances when:

  • The offence was committed within the framework of a criminal organization;

  • The offence was committed in the exercises of their legal profession;

  • The laundered property is of considerable value;

  • The laundered property that derives from racketeering, terrorism, human trafficking, sexual exploitation, narcotic trafficking, or corruption (offences listed referred to a point (a) to (e), (h) of point (1) of article 2).

4. Liability of legal persons (Article 7) and its sanctions (Article 8)

  • 6AMLD extends criminal liability to legal persons for any offences referred to at Article 3 and 4. (article 7)

  • A legal person held liable pursuant to Article 7 is punishable by effective, proportionate, and dissuasive sanctions. Those measures can include criminal or non-criminal fines, such as exclusion from entitlement to public benefit or aid, etc. (article 8)

5. Increased co-operation between Member states

  • When the offence referred to in Article 3 and 4 falls within more than one Member states, cooperation is necessary in order to prosecute the offender. (Article 10)

  • 6AMLD requires that effective investigative tools, such as those used in combating organized crime or other serious crimes are available to the persons, units, or services responsible for investigating or prosecuting the offences referred to in Article 3 and 4. (article 11)

When is 6AMLD being transposed into national Luxembourgish Law?


The Luxemburgish government will soon transpose the AMLD 6 into national law.


MAQIT's AML/CTF Team is at your disposal for any questions you may have. Don't hesitate to contact us!


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