EU Aims to Curb Money Laundering
Anyone wanting to bring more than €10,000 ($13,000) across the EU’s external borders will in future have to declare the sum, following a political agreement by EU finance ministers on Tuesday.
The move aims to reduce money laundering and combat the funding of terrorists. Cash that is not declared to customs officials will be seized. Travellers failing to declare the cash will have proceedings started against them, according to the European Commission. There was some initial disagreement over the exact threshold that should be applied. Brussels and some Member States wanted to enforce an upper limit of €15,000, but Dutch Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm – Chair of the EU Finance Ministers’ Council – told journalists on Tuesday, "we arrived at the very beautiful figure of €10,000." This is the same threshold that applies to electronic transfers. Taxation and customs Commissioner Frits Bolkestein said that the proposals are "designed to prevent laundered money from reaching criminals and terrorists while at the same time not unduly interfering with the legitimate traveller." The proposal will now return to MEPs for final clearance.