Practical implementation of the Council of Europe AML/CFT Sectoral Risk Assessment Methodology for Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers introduced to Romanian stakeholders

Bucharest, Romania 19 May 2022
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© Shutterstock

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Romanian authorities have recently finalised the country’s first Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (ML/TF) National Risk Assessment, following the Council of Europe’s methodology, with support from the Economic Crime and Cooperation Division (ECCD) of the Council of Europe. While the development of a national Action Plan on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism is still ongoing, some high-risk areas have already been identified by the authorities as requiring further regulation and assessment of ML/TF risks.

For instance, the Virtual Assets (VAs) and Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) represent a sector of interest for which the Romanian authorities plan undertaking a dedicated sectoral risk assessment. In order to support them in this endeavour, the ECCD has organised a dedicated workshop on the practical implementation of the Council of Europe’s AML/CFT Sectoral Risk Assessment Methodology for Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers in Romania. The event was attended by representatives of the National Office for Prevention and Control of Money Laundering (the Romanian Financial Intelligence Unit – FIU), National Bank of Romania, Financial Supervisory Authority, Ministry of Justice, General Prosecutor’s Office, Police and Romanian Intelligence Service.

The event provided an opportunity for these key stakeholders to further familiarise themselves with the main elements of this sectoral risk assessment process, including the data gathering and analysis tools, the detailed implementation steps of the Methodology, as well as potential challenges to be expected when attempting to assess risks as accurately as possible in this emerging and volatile sector. Moreover, participants benefited from practical aspects and examples with regard to the identification and understanding of current VAs and VASPs and their activity in the country, the analysis of related threats and vulnerabilities, and the risk treatment following the sectoral assessment.

This Workshop was one step in a wider effort of supporting Romania in conducting its first VAs and VASPs ML/TF Sectoral Risk Assessment. The Council of Europe will further support the authorities by providing tailored assistance and expert guidance throughout the assessment process.

This event was organised within the framework of the Structural Reform Support Programme initiative “Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Risk Compliance: Implementing a National Mechanism to Assess and Manage Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Risks in Romania”, funded by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Structural Reform Support and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.