The European Commission (EC) has presented an Action Plan to strengthen its counter financing of terrorism (CFT) efforts.

The Action Plan will focus on two main strands: tracing terrorists through financial movements and preventing them from moving funds or other assets, and disrupting the sources of revenue used by terrorist organisations by targeting their capacity to raise funds.

AML commitment

The Action Plan calls for more measures than those contained in the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Package, which was adopted in May 2015 and should be committed to by all EU member states by the end of 2016.

The EC will propose the amendments at the latest by the end of the second quarter of 2016.

New powers

To strengthen safeguards against financial flows from high risk third countries, compulsory due diligence checks will have to be made by institutions managing financial flows from countries with strategic deficiencies in their national AML and CFT regimes.

EU Financial Intelligence Units will be given greater powers, providing them with easier and faster access to information on the holders of bank and payment accounts.

Tracking systems

Regulations will also allow for more powers for the relevant authorities to check for illicit sending of cash by post and freight.

The commission will explore the need for a complementary EU system for tracking terrorist financing, for example to cover intra-EU payments that are not captured by the existing EU-US Terrorism Financing Tracking Programme.