Anti-Money Laundering (AML) in Bulgaria

Overview of AML in Bulgaria


The sectors that Bulgarian criminals use for money laundering are usually retail, games, tourism, construction, and energy. The most frequently used businesses for this purpose are places such as casinos, hotels, night clubs, car dealers, shopping malls, pledge shops.

Bulgaria adopted and enacted the new (AML) regulation Anti-Money Laundering Act (MLD4), which implemented the Fourth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive in March 2018 to prevent such money laundering. Among the main innovations in MLD4 and the Bulgarian AML Act are the obligation to collect and file information about the ultimate beneficial owner (UBOs) of legal entities and other bodies that directly or indirectly control companies and other organizations. Besides, all EU Member States should organize central databases where all companies will protect information about their UBOs. Moreover, Bulgaria Anti-Money Laundering Act (MAMLA) applies the necessary penalty when money laundering activities take place in another State or any member state.


AML Requirements in Bulgaria


To compliance, companies should carefully consider whether they are subject to newly introduced requirements. To do this, UBO needs to reveal its identity and appoint a contact person who is a Bulgarian citizen.



AML Penalties in Bulgaria


If the obligations are not complied with within the announced period, the fines determined are given to the persons. Penalties will be issued monthly until the required identification information is duly recorded in the relevant registry.


FATF Status for Bulgaria


Bulgaria is not on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Countries List identified as having strategic AML deficiencies, and there are currently no international sanctions against this country.GDP contracted by 5.5% in the Bulgarian economy in 2009, and recovery has been slow since then, despite a favorable investment regime, significant challenges remain. Public administration corruption, weak judgment, and the existence of organized crime continue to hamper the country's investment climate and economic prospects.

The final report on the implementation of money laundering and counter-terrorism financing standards in Bulgaria was made in 2008 by FATF. According to this assessment, Bulgaria has mainly been considered harmonious.



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