Is Serbia going to be removed from the “blacklist” of countries with “systemic deficiencies” in the fight against terrorism and money laundering compiled by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in the next five days? This is currently one of the most important issues that the government is dealing with.
According to the source of the Blic daily, at its fifth plenary session which is due to start tomorrow and will run June 21st, the FATF will decide whether Serbia continues to pose a risk to the international financial system. As a result, our country will be completely removed from the list or will continue to be on it, in the company of the countries such as Ethiopia, Ghana, Syria and Pakistan.
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“Serbia was blacklisted in February last year. In the meantime, there were two list revisions, in June and October. Serbian authorities claimed that all FATF recommendations were met, but Serbia remained to be blacklisted. This is a very important issue for the Government, if not the most important one,” said the source, adding that the line ministers and institutions are rather optimistic and hope that Serbia will be removed from the FATF list, just like Iraq and Vanuatu were removed last year.
The latest October 2018 report on the progress made in the implementation of recommendations for the prevention of money laundering and terrorism in 11 high-risk countries, states that Serbia has made progress, but also that “all strategic shortcomings in preventing money laundering and financing of terrorism have not been resolved.”
The report also said that Serbia should apply money laundering and anti-terrorist financing mechanisms in the activities conducted by lawyers and provide evidence that sanctions in these offences have been implemented. According to the FATF, Serbia should prove that the competent bodies in terms of having timely access to the company ownership data, which must be adequate and accurate. In the meantime, Serbia made amendments to several laws and regulations in order to rectify this, but that was obviously not enough.
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