MONEYVAL’s system of peer review is based on the FATF model, however, the process of self-assessment and mutual evaluations are undertaken against a more extensive set of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing standards. Apart from the FATF Standards, MONEYVAL assesses the compliance of its jurisdictions with the international conventions included therein, as well as the EU legislation adopted in this respect (for further detail please refer to the specific information on individual evaluation rounds provided below). 

The evaluation process of the participating States is based on several rounds:

First evaluation round (1998-2000)

The first round of mutual evaluations, based on the 1996 FATF Recommendations, was initiated in April 1998 and on-site visits were concluded in December 2000. 22 Council of Europe member States were evaluated in the first evaluation round.

Second evaluation round (2001-2004)

This second round was also based largely on the 1996 FATF Recommendations and included evaluation against the FATF’s 2000 Criteria for non-co-operative States and territories. MONEYVAL concluded its second round of on-site visits at the end of 2003 and 27 Council of Europe member States were evaluated.

Third evaluation round (2005-2009)

The third round of mutual evaluations was based on the 2003 revised FATF Recommendations. In addition, the evaluation reviewed aspects of compliance with the European Union’s 3rd AML/CFT Directive, which came into force on 15 December 2007. 28 Council of Europe member States together with the Holy See (including Vatican City State) and Israel were evaluated in the 3rd evaluation round. N.B.: Although the third round of evaluations concluded in 2009, the Holy See (including Vatican City State) was subsequently evaluated in 2011, with the report being adopted in 2012 following the adoption by the Committee of Ministers on 6 April 2011 of Resolution CM/Res(2011). 

The evaluation team normally comprised one member of the MONEYVAL Secretariat and four evaluators: one legal evaluator, one law enforcement evaluator and two financial evaluators. Ahead of the on-site visit, a detailed mutual evaluation questionnaire was sent to the evaluated State or territory. The State or territory was required to provide comprehensive replies the questionnaire, relevant legal and regulatory provisions and related statistics. The on-site visit provided the evaluation team with the opportunity to meet with relevant governmental agencies, regulators, law enforcement and prosecution agencies, as well as with representatives of the private sector and non-governmental organisations. The on-site visit normally did not exceed 8 days. The evaluation team then drafted the evaluation report, which was discussed with the State before being submitted to the Plenary for adoption. 

On-going monitoring of the developments in jurisdictions after the third round assessments was undertaken through progress reports, submitted by jurisdictions and adopted by the Plenary. For further information on MONEYVAL’s follow-up processes, please refer to the section Monitoring progress.

In 2013, the Committee decided that 3rd round progress reports would only continue to apply to the States and territories which joined MONEYVAL after the conclusion of the 3rd round of evaluations and Montenegro (until the 2nd progress report was adopted) and any State or territory not participating in the follow-up evaluation round (MONEYVAL’s Fourth round).

Follow-up evaluation round or “MONEYVAL Fourth Round” (2009-2015)

MONEYVAL commenced a follow-up round of onsite visits in 2009, the evaluations still being based on assessing compliance with the 2003 FATF Recommendations. For each country, these evaluations focus on the effectiveness of implementation of core and key and some other important Recommendations, as well as of any other Recommendations for which the country received either a non-compliant or partially compliant rating in the third round. In addition, the evaluation also reviews aspects of compliance with the European Union’s 3rd Anti-Money Laundering Directive. MONEYVAL’s Fourth Round of evaluations is unique in the international forum and allows MONEYVAL to ensure a consistent monitoring of developments and progress of its member States and territories. Most importantly, it also introduced at an earlier stage an increased emphasis on considering the effectiveness of the implementation of AML/CFT measures on national level and included this in the consideration of overall compliance with international standards. 

The practical undertaking of the evaluation procedure is similar to that of the third round, but differs in its follow-up processes.

Fifth evaluation round (2015-2024)

The 2012 revised FATF Recommendations constitute the basis of the current MONEYVAL round of evaluations. In this round of evaluations there is a much greater emphasis on the effective implementation of the FATF Recommendations by states and territories. This is reflected in the process of the evaluation, where technical compliance is assessed prior to the on-site visit, which is then dedicated solely to the assessment of the effectiveness of AML/CFT measures in place. For this purpose, each onsite visit shall now last at least two weeks. The extended length of on-site visits enables the evaluators to meet a higher number of national authorities involved in the AML/CFT framework, as well as more representatives of the private sector. 

In addition, the 2012 FATF Recommendations place a greater focus on the assessment of risks and their understanding, as well as how these are reflected in the implementation of the overall set of AML/CFT measures. Pursuant to this approach, a new element was introduced in the evaluations, a scoping note setting the priorities and focus of the evaluations in order to address more precisely the specific issues which require enhanced attention within each particular jurisdiction. Furthermore, prior to the discussion of the evaluation report by the Plenary, the Working Group on Evaluations shall identify the significant issues within the report, which require an enhanced attention of the Committee. 

The first onsite visit under this round of evaluations was conducted in 2015 with the first report under the new Recommendations being considered in December 2015.