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The European Commission has put forward a proposal to update and extend the 1991 Money Laundering Directive to meet the ever-evolving threat posed by the activity. There was unanimous agreement at the Tampere European Council in October 1999 that amendments were necessary and should be adopted “as soon as possible”. The passing of this new legislation is also one of the objectives of the Financial Services Action Plan and a key part of the French presidency’s work programme. The main amendments contained in the proposal are to widen the prohibition of money laundering and extend the existing obligations to certain non-financial activities and professions. There is also a significant set of new obligations that would apply to non-face-to-face transactions involving credit or financial institutions.

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