On 24th May, a news release advised that the Commission has welcomed the agreement reached by EU Member States and the European Parliament on key measures to control illicit cash flows in and out of the EU. The reinforced rules complement the EU’s AML rules and form part of the European Agenda on Security and work to fight the financing of terrorism. Cash declaration/detention controls have been in place since 2007, with travellers entering or leaving the EU legally obliged to declare amounts of cash valued at €10,000 or more (or its equivalent in other currencies or bearer negotiable instruments) to customs authorities. The new agreement extends this obligation to commodities such as gold and prepaid cards. The main elements of the new rules will:
- Tighten cash controls on people entering or leaving the EU with €10,000 or more in cash;
- Enable authorities to act on amounts lower than the declaration threshold of €10,000, where there are suspicions of criminal activity;
- Improve the exchange of information between authorities (Customs and FIU) and Member States;
- Extend customs controls to cash sent in postal parcels or freight shipments, to prepaid cards and to precious commodities such as gold, which are not currently subject to customs control.