Albania on the “grey” list with jurisdiction status under increased monitoring

1 Mars, 20230

Jurisdictions under increased monitoring [1] are actively working with the FATF to address strategic deficiencies in their regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing.

Since February 2020, when Albania made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and MONEYVAL to strengthen the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime, Albania has taken steps towards improving its AML/CFT regime, including by demonstrating a meaningful increase in the number of money laundering cases indicted, particularly those stemming from foreign offences where the criminal proceeds were laundered in Albania.

The FATF has made the initial determination that Albania has completed its action plan and appreciates Albania’s work to address its strategic deficiencies. However, the FATF has not yet decided to authorise an on-site visit to the country to verify the implementation of Albania’s AML/CFT reforms.

This is because the FATF remains concerned that Albania’s apparent plans to establish a Voluntary Tax Compliance (VTC) programme do not comply with the FATF’s principles for managing the AML/CFT implications of VTC programmes or FATF’s best practices in this area. Albania should ensure that any amnesty provisions included in the VTC law do not present an opportunity for individuals or legal persons to legalise or repatriate assets of unlawful origin and that any criminal amnesty only relates to the previous incorrect or non-reporting of taxable income.

Albania should revise its draft VTC law and work with MONEYVAL to ensure that any VTC law passed or implemented has adequate safeguards to prevent the potential for abuse of the programme for money laundering purposes. Alternatively, it could consider abandoning the planned VTC programme altogether.

The FATF and FATF-style regional bodies (FSRBs) continue to work with the jurisdictions below as they report on the progress achieved in addressing their strategic deficiencies. The FATF calls on these jurisdictions to complete their action plans expeditiously and within the agreed timeframes. The FATF welcomes their commitment and will closely monitor their progress. The FATF does not call for the application of enhanced due diligence measures to be applied to these jurisdictions. The FATF Standards do not envisage de-risking, or cutting off entire classes of customers, but call for the application of a risk-based approach. Therefore, the FATF encourages its members and all jurisdictions to take into account the information presented below in their risk analysis.

The FATF identifies additional jurisdictions, on an on-going basis, which have strategic deficiencies in their regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing. A number of jurisdictions have not yet been reviewed by the FATF or their FSRBs, but will be in due course.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FATF has provided some flexibility to jurisdictions not facing immediate deadlines to report progress on a voluntary basis. The following countries had their progress reviewed by the FATF since October 2022: Albania, Barbados, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Haiti, Jamaica, Jordan, Mali, Morocco, Myanmar, Panama, Philippines, Senegal, South Sudan, Türkiye, UAE, and Uganda. For these countries, updated statements are provided below. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, and Tanzania chose to defer reporting; thus, the statements issued in October 2022 for those jurisdictions are included below, but it may not necessarily reflect the most recent status of the jurisdictions’ AML/CFT regimes. Following review, the FATF now also identifies Nigeria and South Africa.

[1] When the FATF places a jurisdiction under increased monitoring, it means the country has committed to resolve swiftly the identified strategic deficiencies within agreed timeframes and is subject to increased monitoring. This list is often externally referred to as the “grey list”.

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