Netherlands considers heavy handed 5AMLD implementation
Despite coming into effect in January, Europe's 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD), each EU member state has to introduce domestic legislation to implement the 5AMLD regime in their own country.
To that effect, the Netherlands Ministry of Finance is considering a series of additional requirements which would impose a significantly higher financial burden on digital currency companies than conventional financial services businesses.
Foremost among the concerns of Dutch business is the suggestion that digital currency companies will be required to pay a structural levy to support industry supervision. Patrick van der Meijde, a founder of Bitkassa, which helps users move between Bitcoin and fiat, told Crypto Briefing that 50 of the largest Dutch crypto companies would be required to pay approximately €1.7 million supervisory and compliance fees.
While industry funding is not a novel concept, Van der Meijde suggests that the proposed fees are significantly higher than the costs that traditional trust and credit card companies are required to pay.
Commenting on the issues with the Dutch implementation of 5AMLD, lawyer Frank ‘t Hart of Hart Advocaten said:
When looking at these new laws, we have to ask if they are really in line with the [AMLD5]... This is much more than what the [AMLD5] has indicated,
Outside of the additional requirements, the Ministry of Finance also appointed the Dutch central bank (DNB) as a supervisory authority. Commenting on the DNB's supervisory remit, Hart commented that the DNB is ordinarily used to supervise licensed and not registered companies, and that:
... This envisaged way of supervision is unusual.
The 5AMLD regulation became law on 9 July 2018, as part of a broader effort to bring increased transparency to financial transactions for pushing back against money laundering and terrorist financing across Europe.
Since then, various digital currency companies have protested against the amendments, with some going so far as to shut down entirely.