6 EU AML directives

Navigating the EU’s 6th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (6AMLD)

Table of Contents

Fraudsters find new ways to breach security systems and exploit companies and businesses. Acknowledging this threat, the European Union (EU) has been implementing measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. One of the key legislative frameworks designed to address these challenges is the 6th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (6AMLD). This directive is a huge step towards enhancing financial integrity, an issue vital to us all.

What is 6AMLD?

The 6AMLD, officially known as Directive (EU) 2018/1673, is a comprehensive update to the previous Anti-Money Laundering Directives (AMLDs). Adopted on October 23, 2018, and implemented by member states by December 3, 2020, the 6AMLD introduces several new provisions aimed at strengthening the EU’s AML framework. The directive emphasizes criminal liability, increases the responsibilities of financial institutions, and expands the scope of predicate offenses, providing a thorough approach to combating financial crimes.

Under the 5AMLD, only traditional financial institutions were mandated to comply with AML directives. However, the 6AMLD has broadened these requirements to encompass a wider range of specific predicate offenses, such as environmental crime and cybercrime. This expansion acknowledges the evolving diversity of financial activities and ensures that more sectors are equipped to combat money laundering activities.

Enhancing Legal Frameworks and Criminal Liability

One of the primary objectives of the 6AMLD is to enhance legal frameworks and promote accountability for financial crimes. The directive introduces a list of 22 predicate offenses, including tax crimes, cybercrime, and environmental crimes. This standardization ensures that all EU member states have a consistent understanding and approach to combating these crimes.

Consider a scenario where a criminal organization engages in illegal logging operations and uses the proceeds to fund other criminal activities. With the implementation of the 6AMLD, authorities and financial institutions can more easily identify and prosecute these environmental crimes, reducing the chances of money laundering. This enhanced legal framework is a game-changer for law enforcement agencies and financial institutions alike.

Moreover, the directive also emphasizes criminal liability for legal entities. This means that individuals and companies can be held accountable for money laundering offenses. Imagine a corporation involved in fraudulent activities being subject to severe penalties and legal actions. Under the 6AMLD, the company’s executives and employees can be prosecuted, ensuring that there are real consequences for engaging in or facilitating financial crimes.

Strengthening International Cooperation

Technological advancements make us more interconnected than ever, and financial crimes often span multiple jurisdictions. The 6AMLD recognizes the importance of international cooperation. The directive mandates stronger collaboration between EU member states and with countries outside the EU. This includes sharing information and best practices to identify and mitigate risks effectively.

To elaborate further, the directive strengthens the Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) role across member states. These units are responsible for receiving, analyzing, and disseminating financial information related to suspicious transactions. Enhanced cooperation between FIUs ensures that information about suspicious transactions and individuals is quickly shared, making it harder for criminals to exploit gaps between jurisdictions. In practice, if a suspicious transaction is flagged in one country, the information can be swiftly shared with other countries involved, allowing for a coordinated response.

Addressing Emerging Threats: Cryptocurrencies and Cybercrime

The rise of cryptocurrencies and the prevalence of cybercrime have created new challenges for AML efforts. These financial instruments and digital crimes offer anonymity and can be exploited by criminals to launder money. The 6AMLD addresses this by expanding the list of predicate offenses to include cybercrime and by bringing virtual currency exchange platforms and custodian wallet providers under the scope of AML regulations. These entities are now required to conduct customer due diligence and report suspicious activities, similar to traditional financial institutions.

Let’s examine a cryptocurrency exchange platform operating in the EU. Before the 6AMLD, such platforms were not obligated to follow certain AML protocols. Now, they must verify the identities of their customers and monitor transactions for any suspicious behavior. This shift significantly enhances the EU’s ability to track and prevent money laundering activities involving cryptocurrencies.

Additionally, the inclusion of cybercrime as a predicate offense means that activities like hacking, fraud, and other digital crimes are now explicitly targeted under AML regulations. A cybercriminal who steals sensitive data and sells it on the dark web will now face increased scrutiny and prosecution under the 6AMLD.

Expanding the Scope: Environmental and Tax Crimes

The 6AMLD goes beyond traditional financial crimes by including environmental and tax crimes as predicate offenses. These include illegal practices such as logging, waste trafficking, and wildlife trafficking. This expansion acknowledges the broader impact of financial crimes on society and the environment.

Similarly, tax crimes are now explicitly recognized as predicate offenses under the 6AMLD. Tax evasion and fraud undermine countries’ financial stability and erode public trust in the financial system. The 6AMLD strengthens the EU’s commitment to financial integrity and fair taxation by targeting these offenses.

Leveraging Technology for Compliance

Incorporating advanced technology is crucial for effective compliance with the 6AMLD. We at Au10tix specialize in identity verification and compliance solutions, and by working with us, you can ensure compliance with the EU AML directives. We work hard to develop effective solutions and to contribute to a safer financial environment.

One solution we offer is implementing automated systems for customer due diligence to ease the process of verifying identities and monitoring transactions. These systems use artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze large volumes of data, identify patterns, and flag suspicious activities in real-time.

Furthermore, blockchain technology can provide an immutable record of transactions, making it easier to trace the flow of funds and identify potential money laundering activities. By using advanced solutions, you strengthen your defenses against fraud and financial crimes. Contact us to get started!


The 6th Anti-Money Laundering Directive represents a significant advancement in the EU’s efforts to combat financial crime. The 6AMLD is more than just a regulatory update; it’s an addition to the system designed to tackle the complexities of modern financial crimes. Take it from us: fraudsters constantly adapt to find new breaches in technology, but we always stay one step ahead. Only by being proactive can you effectively comply with the directives and contribute towards a healthy global financial system.

What is the main purpose of the 6AMLD?

The primary purpose of the 6AMLD is to enhance legal frameworks and promote accountability for financial crimes.

Why is international cooperation essential in combating money laundering?

International cooperation is crucial because financial crimes often involve multiple jurisdictions. The 6AMLD mandates stronger collaboration between EU member states and with countries outside the EU to combat these crimes effectively.

How does the 6AMLD address the challenges posed by cryptocurrencies and cybercrime?

The 6AMLD brings virtual currency exchange platforms and custodian wallet providers under the scope of AML regulations. It expands the list of predicate offenses to include cybercrime, requiring them to conduct customer due diligence and report suspicious activities.

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