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Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 laying down rules facilitating the use of financial and other information for the prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of certain criminal offences

On the 17th of April 2018, the Commission tabled a Proposal for a Directive laying down measures to facilitate access by competent authorities to financial information and bank account information for the prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of serious criminal offences. It provides for direct access to the national centralised bank account registries or data retrieval systems to competent authorities. The competent authorities to which access is provided for also include tax authorities and anti-corruption authorities in their capacity to conduct criminal investigations under national law. They also include the Asset Recovery Offices which are responsible for the tracing and identification of criminal assets in view of their possible freezing and confiscation. Europol will also be provided with indirect access through Member States' National Units.

The Directive also provides for measures to facilitate access by Financial Intelligence Units to law enforcement information, and to facilitate the cooperation between Financial Intelligence Units and between FIUs and competent authorities. It defines what type of information (financial information, financial analysis, law enforcement information) can be requested by competent authorities and FIUs respectively as well as the exhaustive list of criminal offences for which each authority can exchange information always on a case-by-case basis, which means for a specific case under investigation. It provides for deadlines within which FIUs should exchange the information and requires the use of a secure channel of communication so as to improve and speed up their exchanges. Finally, it requires Member States to designate all the competent authorities entitled to request information.

The legal basis for the Directive, which will replace Council Decision 2000/642/JHA, is Article 87(2) TFEU, which states that the European Parliament and the Council, acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure, may establish measures concerning, inter alia, the collection, storage, processing, analysis and exchange of relevant information.

Source: Explanatory Memorandum to the Commission's Proposal

type: Directive

Reference number: 2019/1153

Issue date: 20-06-19

Official Journal: OJ L 186, 11 July 2019, pp. 122-137

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