Three years after the AML6: Is it time for the AML7?

Henrica Westhoeve
May 23, 2024 - Reading time 6 minutes

We have observed that in recent years the AML guidelines have been updated rapidly. AML5 was implemented in 2020 and in 2021 the AML6. Now, more than three years after AML6, the question arises: Is there going to be an AML7? We looked into it for you.

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Seven adjustments to the AML6

On July 20, 2021, the EU Council introduced new adjustments for the AML. This would be the AML7, but they are merely proposals, and the term AML7 is not being used. Seven changes have been recommended, and it is still unclear whether they will be implemented.

1. An EU centralized AML authority (AMLA).

Initially, the AMLA is not intended to replace local AML enforcers. The initial goal of the AMLA is to ensure that AML legislation is implemented correctly and consistently across the EU. Also, the AMLA will not be established until 2023 and will not begin this task until 2026.

2. Uniformity of AML/KYC rules in every EU member state

Recent years have shown that not every state implements AML rules equally well or equally quickly. An example of this is the UBO-register. Its introduction took 3 years longer than planned in Cyprus and Hungary. On top of that, in one country only 1 document needs to be signed, while in other countries very expensive video and passport verification is required. So the EU now wants to apply clarification and unity to all AML and KYC rules with immediate effect. This means that adaptation of local legislation is unnecessary.

Interesting read: All about the Wwft

3. Single Access Point for bank accounts and related records.

This system should become a single access point for all national centralized bank accounts. This should allow enforcers in each EU member state to immediately access bank accounts of European banks and view their stakeholder(s). The EU believes this would reduce the number of fraud attempts concerning bank accounts, as it would make verification easier.

4. Expanding control of crypto business models and their definition

Currently, only certain categories of crypto companies registered in the EU are required to comply with the AML. These are the so-called crypto wallets and crypto exchanges. The new amendment should ensure that any company dealing with crypto on a professional basis must comply with the AML. Companies engaged in below must therefore comply with the AML.

  • Companies that keep records on crypto assets for third parties;
  • Operating a trading platform for crypto assets;
  • Trading crypto assets for any legal tender;
  • Trading crypto assets for other crypto stocks;
  • Trading or performing actions related to crypto assets on behalf of third parties;
  • Placing crypto assets;
  • Receiving and processing crypto asset requests on behalf of third-party parties
  • Advising on crypto assets

5. Implementing the "Crypto Travel Rule."

The EU is happy to follow the global trend to implement the "Travel Rule" also when it comes to crypto companies. This adaptation would provide a direct obligation (so no adaptation of local legislation is needed). Each crypto company (see aforementioned list) will then have to collect and exchange information about the principal and interested party, just like with bank transfers.

6. Banning anonymous crypto wallets.

It sounds extraordinary at first glance, but the ban will cover anonymous accounts in crypto exchanges and hot wallets. Hot wallets are crypto wallets that are connected to your phone or the Internet.

7. Prohibiting cash purchases over 10,000 euros

The European commission plans to ban all cash purchases over 10,000 euros. Currently, different countries have different ceilings on cash purchases. For example, in Poland it is 15,000 euros, but in Greece it is already 500 euros.

No AML7, but many changes

While the question of whether there will be an AML7 remains unanswered for now, the seven proposed changes to the AML6 are a clear step toward greater uniformity and stricter controls within the EU. These changes, such as the creation of the AMLA and the expansion of rules for crypto businesses, underscore the EU's ongoing commitment to effectively combat financial crime and create a safer economic environment.


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