Lithuania has improved its measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing; it has been upgraded from “partially compliant” to “largely compliant” with the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) Recommendations 24 and 32, related to transparency of legal persons and cash couriers, concludes the Council of Europe’s anti-money laundering body MONEYVAL in a follow-up report released today.
By enhancing the powers of the customs authority to request and obtain further information where a false declaration or disclosure, or failure to declare, has been detected, Lithuania has addressed a significant shortcoming identified earlier. Moreover, Lithuania has enhanced its coordination mechanisms among customs and immigration authorities and the FIU. Some minor shortcomings remain regarding a declaration requirement for transportation of cash by mail/cargo and restraining currency for a reasonable period of time in order to ascertain whether evidence of ML/FT may be found.
In addition, Lithuania has taken some important steps to enhance transparency of legal persons. The country has established a beneficial ownership register and started collecting information on shareholders, members and owners of legal persons. Although, Lithuania has improved its legal framework, several outstanding shortcomings remain regarding proportionality and dissuasiveness of sanctions and a lack of risk assessment of legal persons.
The report also examines a range of legislative, regulatory and institutional measures regarding the supervision of designated non-financial businesses and professions, however, these measures were not sufficient to upgrade the rating of Recommendation 28.
Overall, Lithuania has achieved full compliance with eight of the 40 FATF recommendations constituting the international AML/CFT standard and retains minor deficiencies in the implementation of 27 recommendations where it has been found “largely compliant”. Five recommendations remain “partially compliant” and Lithuania has no “non-compliant” rating.
Consequently, Lithuania is expected to report back to MONEYVAL on further progress to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures in one year’s time.