What is 6th AML EU Directive ?

What changes after Sixth AML Directive (AMLD6)  –  in 2019 ?


AMLD6 is a EU Directive number 2018/1673 of the EU and the main purpose of this document is the need to standardize the definition of crime related to terrorism and money laundering in the Member States, as well as to define the liability and sanctions of the parties involved for such activities.

What is the purpose of the 6th Directive?

Basically this new legal document aims to criminalize money laundering if this act was done deliberately and with the knowledge that the property came from criminal activity. In this context, this Directive does not should make distinctions between situations where property comes directly from criminal activity, or situations where it comes from such activities indirectly, in line with the broad definition of “benefits

New definition of general criminal activity

The Directive introduces,  the definition of criminal activity, which includes:

  • Participation in an organized criminal group
  • Terrorism
  • Corruption
  • Arms trade
  • Counterfeiting money
  • Tax offenses
  • Sexual exploitation,
  • Abductions of murder, extortion

Strict definition of Money laundering offence (Article 3)

According to the text of AMLD6 the money laundering offense is one of the conducts listed below (committed intentionally):

  • the conversion or transfer of property, knowing that such property is derived from criminal activity, for the purpose of concealing or disguising the illicit origin of the property or or of assisting in such activity
  • the concealment or disguise of the true nature, source, location, disposition, movement, rights with respect to, or ownership of, property, knowing that such property is derived from criminal activity
  • the acquisition, possession or use of property, knowing at the time of receipt, that such property was derived from criminal activity.

The fourth article of the AMLD6 indicates that from now on, the punishable crime will also be aiding and abetting, inciting and attempting an Money laundering offense (defined above in Article 3)

What changes are introduced by AMLD6 ?

In order to ensure a uniform definition of money laundering crime, the EU wants the criminal act to be – to the same extent named and penalized both in the country of its perpetration and the country of origin of the offender. The same applies to aiding, abetting and attempting to commit money laundering offenses. The Directive introduces in the catalog of crimes the definition of the so-called self-laundering, i.e. a prohibited act whose perpetrator is involved in money laundering as well as in activities aimed at concealing or hiding this practice.


In Article 8 of the AMLD6, penalties for legal persons includes:

  • withdrawal of the right to Public benefits, grants and concessions.
  • judicial order to liquidate the business, disqualification of commercial activities;
  • temporary or permanent closure of the establishments,
  • ban on conducting commercial activities.

In Article 9 Member States have been ordered to secure or confiscate the proceeds of crime as well as tools for further criminal activity in this area.

Article 10 clarifies matters of jurisdiction in a given area. it defines, among other things, the need for cooperation between states if the offense was committed in several territories. In the context of crimes committed using information and communication technologies, jurisdiction is required, the place where technology is used, and not the place where the devices are physically located, eg Internet servers.

The content of the AMLD6 directive indicates that the laws in the Member States have been adapted to it by December 3, 2020.


Download full text of 6th AML Directive in English from here