The Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Act 2018 was signed into law on 14 November and came into force on 26 November, resulting in the complete transposition of the Fourth Money Laundering Directive (MLD4) into Irish law.

The Act brings Irish law into line with MLD4 by increasing the scope of risk-assessment, including expanding the definition of persons to be considered beneficial owners of corporate bodies and politically exposed persons. The Act inserts a new chapter in the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 requiring designated persons to conduct a “business risk assessment”. The Act also includes new schedules that contain non-exhaustive risk factors indicating lower or higher risk factors. The 2018 Act diverges from the rules based approach of the 2010 Act regarding Simplified Customer Due Diligence (SCDD), and now a designated person is required to identify and be satisfied that the relevant business relationship or transaction presents a low money laundering/terrorist financing risk.

The Act sets out monetary penalties that apply where the Central Bank imposes administrative sanctions on entities in respect of contraventions of anti-money laundering and terrorist financing legislation. The fines for a designated person who is an individual is the greater of €1,000,000 and twice the amount of any benefit derived by the person from the contravention (where that benefit can be determined). This rises to €5,000,000 for a credit institution/financial institution and €10,000,000 for a body corporate/unincorporated body.

This article contains a general summary of developments and is not a complete or definitive statement of the law. Specific legal advice should be obtained where appropriate.