On December 3rd 2019, the amendments to the Law on Measures against Money Laundering (LMML), which introduced into the national law the requirements of Directive (EU) 2018/843 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018, entered into force amending Directive (EU) 2015/849 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing and amending Directives 2009/138 / EC and 2013/36 / EU (Text with EEA relevance) (Directive (EU) 2018/843).

The measures to prevent the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering provided for by law are binding on 39 types of obligated persons, including credit and financial institutions, accountants, auditors, notaries, lawyers, non-profit legal entities, etc.

On January 9th 2020 the results of the National Assessment of the Risk of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing were published on the State Agency for National Security’s (SANS) website. According to the LMML, the obliged persons adopt internal rules for the control and prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, which are effectively applied to their branches and subsidiaries abroad. The persons for whom the obligation to implement anti-money laundering measures had arisen prior to the entry into force of the LMML had to align their internal rules with the requirements of the law within 6 months of the publication of the results of the national Internet risk assessment. This term was expiring by July 9th 2020. With Article 24 of the Law on Measures and Actions during the State of Emergency, announced by a decision of the National Assembly of March 13th 2020, and the amendments, which he introduces, the term was suspended from April 9th 2020 (date of introduction of changes) until May 13th 2020, when will be the end state of emergency in Bulgaria. This period is now extended and shall expire by August 13th 2020.

The terms under Art. 102, para. 1 and 2, Art. 104, para. 2 and 4, Art. 106, para. 4 and 5 and § 6, para. 1 and 2 of the transitional and final provisions of the Law on Measures against Money Laundering also cease to run until the lifting of the state of emergency, which is currently scheduled to be on 13.05.2020.

Non-profit legal entities for which the aforementioned term is longer – 4 months after the cancellation of the state of emergency – have a special privilege. This means that the deadline for them to adopt internal rules to control and prevent money laundering and terrorist financing is expiring by September 13th 2020.

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