EU adds Barbados, Panama and The Bahamas to money laundering blacklist

On 7 May 2020, the European Commission adopted an action plan for a comprehensive Union policy on preventing money laundering and terrorism financing.

The action plan builds on six pillars:

  • Effective implementation of existing rules
  • A single EU rulebook
  • EU-level supervision
  • A support and cooperation mechanism for financial intelligence units
  • Better use of information to enforce criminal law
  • A stronger EU in the world

The action plan presented resulted in the addition of a number of jurisdictions to the list of Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/1675.

The Commission took into account, as appropriate, information from international organisations and standard setters in the field of AML/CFT, the recent FATF Public Statements, FATF documents “Improving Global AML/CFT Compliance: On-going Process Statement”, FATF reports of the International Cooperation Review Group, and mutual evaluation reports carried out by the FATF and the FATF-Style Regional Bodies (FSRBs) in relation to strategic deficiencies of individual third countries, in line with Article 9(4) of Directive (EU) 2015/849. In particular, it considered:

  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Botswana
  • Cambodia
  • Ghana
  • Jamaica
  • Mauritius
  • Mongolia
  • Myanmar/Burma
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Zimbabwe

as having strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regime, also based on the fact that these countries were identified in the FATF document “Improving Global AML/CFT Compliance: on-going process statement”. Consequently, the Commission considers that The Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Cambodia, Ghana, Jamaica, Mauritius, Mongolia, Myanmar/Burma, Nicaragua, Panama and Zimbabwe meet the criteria set in article 9(2) of Directive (EU) 2015/849. These countries should be added to the list of the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/1675 as countries presenting strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regime that pose significant threats to the financial system of the Union.

The Commission intends to deliver on all these actions by early 2021. To gather the views of citizens and stakeholder on these measures, the Commission launched a public consultation in parallel to the adoption of this action plan. Feedback is welcome until 29 July 2020. The actions outlined in the action plan build on the findings of the anti-money laundering package of 2019, which highlighted fragmentation of rules, uneven supervision and limitations in the cooperation among financial intelligence units across the EU.