Malta: 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive

Last Updated: 11 April 2019
Article by Juanita Brockdorff

Contemporary global finance is increasingly focused on the need for transparency, accountability in relation to business transactions, tax requirements and ownership matters. Such requirements mean that governments are responsible more than ever to ensure that an effective and comprehensive money laundering and terrorist financing framework is in place to mitigate the risks related to the pressing issues expounded in this alert. 

The introduction of the Beneficial Ownership Register (BOR) by the 4th Anti Money Laundering Directive ("4AMLD") was a key example of the Unions' commitment towards said goal. The 5AMLD which entered into force on 9 July 2018 and which is due for implementation by the Member States by 10 January 2020, aims to turn the BOR step into forward strides, by increasing intergovernmental cooperation, widening the scope of the Directive and enhancing harmonisation among Member States in the anti- money laundering domain.

Virtual Currencies and Custodian Wallet Providers

5AMLD brings fiat-to-crypto exchanges as well as custodian wallet providers expressly within the scope of the EU anti-money laundering regime by introducing a definition of virtual currencies and custodian wallet providers. An emphasis is being placed on the ability of Governmental authorities to safeguard technical advances and a high degree of transparency in this field which is considered to be an alternative financial area. Taking into account the FATF's recently issued recommendation to include "virtual asset service providers" within the scope of the international anti-money laundering rules, it was only a matter of time for seeing such amendments reflected in the 5AMLD, and indeed such were introduced by the 6th ALMDadopted in October 2018 (see latest alert on the 6th ALMD).

Public access to BORs

The 4AMLD introduced a system of central registers within Member States in order to store information on the ultimate beneficial owners of legal entities within the Union. This information is stored on what are referred to as central registers on a national level. With the aim of allowing greater scrutiny of information by civil society in order to preserve trust in the integrity of financial system within the Union, the 5AMLD introduced a scheme whereby public access to the ultimate beneficial ownership information with respect to legal entities such as companies will be publicly accessible. 

With regards to BOR information in relation to trusts and other similar legal arrangements, Article 31 of the 5AMLD provides that any natural or legal person who can demonstrate a legitimate interest is to be given access to the information held by the central register. 

The information will be accessible through a pan- European interconnected system of national registers, and individual States may make the information on their BOR available subject to the condition of an online registration and administrative fee.

Increasing cooperation between EU financial intelligence units (FIUs)

The 5AMLD strengthens the interconnection of the BOR through the European Central Platform in order to enhance cooperation between Member States. It also aims to clearly outline the characteristics of trusts and other similar legal arrangements in each Member State, albeit some elements may vary, as one of the steps towards building cooperation in the area of regulation of trusts and similar legal arrangements.  Another step towards this is the identification of which Member State should oversee the compliance of Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism ("AML/CFT") operations in relation to such trusts or similar legal arrangements. 

Harmonised Treatment of High-Risk Third Countries

Traditionally, Member States each determined the type of due diligence measures to be adopted when high risk third countries are dealt with in financial transactions. The 5AMLD aims to harmonise the manner in which risks imposed by high-risk third countries are addressed, primarily by focusing on enhancing customer due diligence measures and alignment of national continuous customer due diligence with recordkeeping and reporting (EDD) measures with FATF regulatory requirements. Additional measures will complement customer due diligence measures when such risks are detected, through the implementation of adequate countermeasures and other mitigating measures. Following an effective assessment of national AML/CTF regimes, the Union will take an integrated approach to business relationships and transactions with high-risk third countries in order to eliminate weak spots in the national administration of protective measures.

Addressing the threat posed by Anonymous Prepaid Cards

While general prepaid cards may have legitimate and practical uses, anonymous prepaid cards could be used to conceal criminal activity such as terrorist financing. The Union will therefore be lowering the existing thresholds for general purpose anonymous prepaid cards and identifying customers in cases of remote payment transactions exceeding €50. Additionally, mitigating risk measures must be taken into account when dealing with customers who have an electronically stored amount of €150, a change from the previous threshold of €250 set by the 4AMLD. 

The 5AMLD also sheds light on the issue of anonymous prepaid cards originating from third States, whose standards may not be in line with international trade rules. More emphasis will be placed on ensuring that anonymous prepaid cards used within the Union comply with the requirements set out by Union law.

The measures to be implemented will allow the Union to keep up with the evolving pace of trends related to the way criminal organisations operate within financial structures. Measures will also be taken in a proportionate way that guarantees that the fundamental freedoms guaranteed to individuals within the Union are maintained. 

How can we help?

KPMG is fully committed to overseeing the effective compliance of our clients with the new requirements set forth by the 5AMLD in order to ensure adherence in all the stages of the new framework. A dedicated team of professionals can help you with overall implementation and understanding of the new structures by:

  • Guiding you in understanding what obligations are imposed and how to implement changes, if any, in a practical manner within a variety of legal entities, and with officers working within the corporate and financial sphere
  • Identifying any deficiencies within current structures and providing professional and tailored advice
  • Providing committed correspondents to assist with multidisciplinary approaches to corporate and tax compliance services.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions