EU agrees negotiating stance on controls on cash entering and leaving the EU

BRUSSELS — The EU Council’s Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper) today agreed its position on a draft regulation aimed at improving controls on cash entering or leaving the Union.

This position serves as a mandate for the Council to enter into negotiations with the European Parliament, once the Parliament will have set out its own position.

“Criminal and terrorist networks take advance of anonymity of cash payment transactions. That is why we need an effective system of cash declarations that can help authorities to better prevent and fight against illegal activities and reinforce security across the Union,” said Edward Scicluna, Minister for Finance of Malta.

The future regulation will improve the current system of controls with respect to cash entering or leaving the EU by replacing regulation 1889/2005. The objective is to take into account the development of new best practices in the implementation within the EU of international standards on combating money laundering and terrorism financing developed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Accordingly, the draft regulation extends the definition of cash to some instruments or methods of payment other than currency, such as cheques, traveller’s cheques, gold and prepaid cards.

Furthermore, it extends its scope to cash that is sent in post, freight or courier shipment.

It will thus complement the EU’s legal framework for the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing laid down in directive 2015/849.

Under the Council common position, any citizen entering or leaving the EU and carrying cash of a value of EUR10 000 or more, will have to declare it to the customs authorities.

The declaration will have to be done irrespective of whether travellers are carrying the cash in their person, their luggage or means of transport. At the request of the authorities they will have to make it available for control.

The authorities will have the power to carry out controls on any consignments, receptacles or means of transport which may contain unaccompanied cash.

The authorities of the member states will exchange information, notably where there are indications that the cash is related to criminal activity which could adversely affect the financial interests of the EU.

Source: Emirates News Agency