The fight against money laundering and terrorist financing has been a top priority for years for Liechtenstein, which has a zero-tolerance policy towards such matters. As a member of the EEA, Liechtenstein implemented in 2017 the 4th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive, which was partly revised by the 5th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive in June 2018. The implementing provisions are found especially in the Law on Professional Due Diligence to Combat Money Laundering, Organised Crime, and Terrorist Financing (Due Diligence Act; DDA) of 1 September 2017 and in the corresponding Ordinance (Due Diligence Ordinance; DDO). In summer 2019, the Criminal Code was tightened up: saved tax expense is now listed in the catalogue of predicate offences for money laundering in accordance with Article 165 of the Criminal Code.
Compliance with international standards
The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) serves as the country’s central authority for obtaining and analysing information that is necessary to recognise money laundering, predicate offences for money laundering, organised crime and terrorist financing. It represents Liechtenstein in the EU’s Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism. The current version of the FIU Law of 1 September 2017 and the adaptations made to the Due Diligence Act ensure Liechtenstein is fully legally compliant with the international standard.
In 2002, 2007 and 2013 / 2014, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Moneyval (the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts) assessed to what extent the Liechtenstein provisions on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism meet the standards laid down by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF 40 + 9 Recommendations). In their last report, the IMF and Moneyval attested positively to Liechtenstein’s standards in combating money laundering and financing of terrorism. Liechtenstein is currently updating the National Risk Assessments (NRA) carried out in 2016 and 2017. It is anticipated that Moneyval will conduct its country assessment in early 2021 and evaluate the effectiveness of measures in preventing money laundering.