Automatic exchange of information on ultimate beneficial owners | revised proposal for the AML Directive

CFE in its latest newsletter mentions the latest developments regarding the international exchange of information on ultimate beneficial owners and AML legislation. It looks as if the current draft of the 4th AML directive is going to be replaced.

Press release of the European Commission:

Secondly, in the context of Panama papers, Ministers showed strong and unanimous commitment to lead the fight against tax evasion and tax avoidance.
The European Commission welcomes the EU-28 agreement to enter into a pilot project for the automatic exchange of information on ultimate beneficial owners. This is the follow-up of the letter by the so-called G5 last week in Washington. Commission will now work to facilitate and assist in putting this agreement into practice.
We will also follow-up on the mandate to explore ways to introduce disincentives for those who give advise in tax evasion planning and elaborate tax evasion schemes.
The Commission welcomes the strong support for establishment of an EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions as well as the idea to define dissuasive countermeasures against such jurisdictions. We believe that we can get this listing system up and running very soon – and the Commission is ready to work on it. This is yet another way for Europe to show leadership and EU list will be the first step to ambitious global list.

In parallel, it is important to achieve quick progress on the Commission’s legislative proposals.
First, we fully support the Dutch Presidency’s goal to reach a political agreement on the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive in May. With the right political will, this is entirely achievable. And the progress so far should allow the final text to be ambitious – without gaps or loopholes.
Second, we need to maintain momentum on our transparency agenda. We hope for rapid progress on the rules requiring multinationals to publish country-by-country information on their income tax, which the Commission proposed last week.
Third, the Commission plans to present a revised proposal for the Anti-Money Laundering Directive, in the context of the fight against terrorism financing. Certainly we will evaluate the possibility for this proposal to be broader to go beyond measures for terrorism financing, also to capture issues on tax avoidance.
I believe that today we sent a powerful message to our citizens and to countries around the world that, when it comes to tackling tax heavens, we are delivering and we are committed to lead by example.

Information: ECOFIN: Dutch EU presidency: line to take EN

Read also this document of 22 April 2016:

Furthermore the Netherlands Presidency will take forward the work on the amendment to the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive which, as the Commission announced, will be submitted to the European Parliament and the Council in June. We want to advance on this legislative proposal as far as we can before we hand it over to our Slovak colleagues who, as I understand, also see it as one of their priorities.

Ministers are of the opinion that the upcoming revision should go beyond amendments announced by the Commission in February, which are largely geared towards tackling terrorist financing. We therefore invited the Commission to consider improvements to address certain issues linked specifically to money laundering, in particular to enhance accessibility of beneficial ownership registers on corporate and other legal entities, as well as on trusts and similar legal arrangements, to clarify the registration requirements for trusts, to speed up the interconnection of national beneficial ownership registers, promote automatic exchange of information on beneficial ownership between authorities, and strengthen customer due diligence rules.

Over Ellen Timmer, advocaat ondernemingsrecht @Pellicaan

Verbonden aan Pellicaan Advocaten,, kantoor Rotterdam, telefoon 088-6272287, fax 088-6272280, e-mail ||| Weblogs: algemeen: || modernisering ondernemingsrecht: ||| Motto: goede bedoelingen rechtvaardigen geen slechte regels
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