EU officials have endorsed an agreement between the Council of the EU and European Parliament approving draft rules aimed at improving the control of cash entering or leaving the bloc, in line with efforts to combat terror funding and money laundering.
The new legislation extends the obligation of any citizen entering or leaving the EU and carrying cash of a value of €10 000 or more to declare it to customs officials.
The declaration will have to be done irrespective of whether travellers are carrying the cash in person, their luggage or means of transport.
At the request of the authorities, they will have to ‘make it available for control,’ according to an EU statement.
Vladislav Goranov, Minister of Finance of Bulgaria, said: “Terrorist financing, money laundering and other criminal activities will be easier to detect in Europe following today’s agreement on the modernisation of the Cash Controls Regulation.
“Experience has shown that we have to adapt our tools more quickly if we are to address new threats and prevent criminal activities from undermining the security of our citizens.”
If the cash is to be sent in postal packages, courier shipments, unaccompanied luggage or containerised cargo, authorities will have the power to request the sender or the recipient, as the case may be, to make a disclosure declaration.
The declaration will be done in writing or electronically using a standard form, the Council of the EU said.
In addition, the authorities of member states will exchange information where there are indications that the cash is related to criminal activity which could ‘adversely affect the financial interests of the EU.’
This information will also be transmitted to the European Commission.
The new regulation will not prevent member states from providing additional national controls on movements of cash within the Union under national law, provided that these controls are in accordance with the Union’s fundamental freedoms.