Directive 2018/1673 - Combating money laundering by criminal law

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Current status

This directive has been published on November 12, 2018, entered into force on December  2, 2018 and should have been implemented in national regulation on December  3, 2020 at the latest.


Key information

official title

Directive (EU) 2018/1673 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on combating money laundering by criminal law
Legal instrument Directive
Number legal act Directive 2018/1673
Original proposal COM(2016)826 EN
CELEX number i 32018L1673


Key dates

Document 23-10-2018; Date of signature
Publication in Official Journal 12-11-2018; OJ L 284 p. 22-30
Effect 02-12-2018; Entry into force Date pub. +20 See Art 15
Deadline 03-12-2022; See Art 14
03-12-2023; See Art 14
End of validity 31-12-9999
Transposition 03-12-2020; See Art 13.1


Legislative text



Official Journal of the European Union

L 284/22



of 23 October 2018

on combating money laundering by criminal law


Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 83(1) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure (1),




Money laundering and the related financing of terrorism and organised crime remain significant problems at Union level, thus damaging the integrity, stability and reputation of the financial sector and threatening the internal market and the internal security of the Union. In order to tackle those problems and to complement and reinforce the application of Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council (2), this Directive aims to combat money laundering by means of criminal law, enabling more efficient and swifter cross-border cooperation between competent authorities.



Measures adopted solely at national or even at Union level, without taking into account international coordination and cooperation, would have very limited effect. The measures adopted by the Union to combat money laundering should therefore be compatible with, and at least as stringent as, other actions undertaken in international fora.



Union action should continue to take particular account of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations and instruments of other international organisations and bodies active in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. The relevant Union legal acts should, where appropriate, be further aligned with the International Standards on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation adopted by the FATF in February 2012 (the ‘revised FATF Recommendations’). As a signatory to the Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism, the Union should transpose the requirements of that Convention into its legal order.



Council Framework Decision 2001/500/JHA (3) lays down requirements with regard to the criminalisation of money laundering. However, that Framework Decision is not comprehensive enough and the current criminalisation of money laundering is not sufficiently coherent to effectively combat money laundering across the Union and results in enforcement gaps and in obstacles to cooperation between the competent authorities in different Member States.



The definition of criminal activities which constitute predicate offences for money laundering should be sufficiently uniform in all Member States. Member States should ensure that all offences that are punishable by a term of imprisonment as set out in this Directive are considered predicate offences for money laundering. Moreover, to the extent that the application of those penalty thresholds does not already do so, Member States should include a range of offences within each of the categories of offences listed in this Directive. In that case, Member States should be able to decide how to delimit the range of offences within each category. Where a category of offences, such as terrorism or environmental offences, includes offences set out in legal acts of the Union, this Directive should refer to those legal acts. Member States should, however, consider any offence set out in those legal acts as constituting a predicate offence for money laundering. Any kind of punishable involvement in the commission of a predicate offence as criminalised in accordance with national law should...


This text has been adopted from EUR-Lex.


Original proposal



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