EU court fines Ireland €2m over delay in anti-money laundering rules

Romania also fined and ordered to pay lump sum of €3m

Ireland and Romania had argued that that the fines sought by the European Commission were unjustified and disproportionate.

Ireland and Romania had argued that that the fines sought by the European Commission were unjustified and disproportionate.

 

The European Union’s top court ordered Ireland to pay a lump sum of €2 million to the European Commission for a failure to implement regulations aimed to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.

Romania was also hit with a fine of €3 million in the judgment.

The European Commission took the infringement proceedings against the two countries for failing to implement EU rules passed in 2015 to prevent the use of the financial system for money laundering or terrorist financing by a deadline of 2017.

“Both member states failed to transpose in full, within the period prescribed, the directive on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing,” the court said.

The regulations introduced more transparency on the ownership of companies, and reinforced surveillance requirements for banks, lawyers and accountants.

Proceedings

The court noted that during the course of the legal proceedings, both Romania and Ireland had complied with the Directive 2015/849, which took aim at illicit flows of money.

Ireland and Romania had argued that that the fines sought by the European Commission were unjustified and disproportionate.

But the court ruled that even though the countries had since complied with the rules, they had failed to fulfil their obligations for over two years.

“The fact remains that that failure to fulfil obligations existed on the expiry of the period prescribed in the respective reasoned opinions, with the result that the effectiveness of EU law was not ensured at all times,” it said.

“Both member states failed to transpose in full, within the period prescribed, the directive on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing,” the court added.