Belgium implements fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive

The law of 22 July 2020 amending, among others, the AML Law1  was published in the Belgian State Gazette on 5 August 2020. The Law provides for the transposition of the fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5) into Belgian law, which has been long overdue.

The aim of AMLD5 is to increase the transparency of financial transactions and corporate and other legal entities and to more effectively counter terrorist financing, in particular by reducing risks linked to anonymous use of virtual currencies and e-money instruments.

The key amendments to the AML Law are the following:

  • the extension of the scope of application of the AML Law to new “obliged entities”; 
  • a reduction of the threshold for customer due diligence measures for e-money instruments; 
  • the identification of politically exposed persons; 
  • the process of access of beneficial owners in the UBO-Register; 
  • the harmonisation of the due diligence obligations; and
  • the improvements in co-operation between the competent authorities of the EU Member States.

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1. Belgian law of 18 September 2017 on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing and on the restriction of the use of cash.