La sexta Directiva contra el blanqueo de capitales

The sixth anti-money laundering Directive

The present directive was adopted as a need because of significant problems of European Union regarding money laundering and related to financing of terrorism. The main goals of this directive are improving the existing legislation regarding money laundering, implementing sanctions that can help fight criminals and allowing better cooperation between authorities. It offers the possibility to criminalize money laundering when committed intentionally or when a person is suspected to have committed that kind of crime. The most meaningful part of it is the requirements of European Union states to incorporate new clauses in national law in order to combat money laundering.

The sixth anti-money directive is known as 6AMLD, that is why you can find it below called like this. First, we should pay attention that this directive introduces a list of predicate offences.  So, these offences introduce more tough criteria for firms. Their employers have to be trained to recognize possible predicate offences. One more thing we should mention is that aiding, abetting and attempting to commit an offence of money laundering will be illegal. In order to be punished for an offence committed in another state member, it must be illegal in both countries. So, there should be an international coordination and cooperation. The definition of criminal activities should be similar in all state members. Member States should ensure that all predicate offences that are punishable by a term of imprisonment as set out in this Directive are considered predicate offences for money laundering. It is a known fact that authorities need effective investigative tools such those used in combating organized crime in order to find out truth about criminal offences as money laundering. Also, state members should assist each other in legal proceedings regarding money laundering, differences between definitions should not hinder cooperation.

Directive’s implementation at national level has to be efficient and proportional, taking into consideration recommendations of FATF (Financial Action Task Force) and other international organizations active in fight of money laundering and terrorist financing. In cases where Union law allows state members to provide for sanctions other than criminal sanctions, this Directive should not require state members to classify the offences in those cases as predicate offences for the purposes of this Directive. Consequently, individuals convicted of money laundering have to be imprisoned at least for four years. So, predicate offences committed for criminal gangs are considered aggravating circumstances.


State members should ensure that risks produced by virtual currencies are taken into consideration.  Virtual currencies are a present part in our daily life, so it should be addressed properly. Offences committed by a public officer should be punished more severe because of their position, they were elected to be an example for society not to be the first one who breaks the law. As every state has its definitions for tax crimes, the directive is not trying to harmonized all of these.  We cannot say that this is considered as a new requirement to be implemented in national law, but all member states should establish their jurisdiction in order to enable the competent authorities to investigate and prosecute such activities.


Some countries such as UK opted out of the sixth anti-money laundering directive mentioning that their law system is already compliant with it. However, some articles of directive could be found in English law, some are not, such as introduction of “failure to prevent money laundering” as offence. In the same situation of not taking part in adoption of this Directive are Ireland and Denmark. It could be a problem in the future because of the fact that is a requirement for EU countries, that should implement till 3rd December 2020.

In conclusion, I can say that the sixth anti-money laundering directive was adopted in benefit of state members of European Union. It tries to remove differences in legal proceedings between countries, it offers a common legislation in this field for a better cooperation, that could reduce the number of offences. It gives a minimum limit for punishment in case of committing this kind of offence, to improve an equal applicability of 6AMLD and explains what aggravating situations are, to know where an increase of punishment is possible. So, we can say that this directive is an improvement of anti-money laundering legislation.