Anti-Money Laundering (AML) in Estonia

Estonia is among the countries with a developed economy according to the IMF. Estonia currency is Euro. The Estonian government is struggling with money laundering to maintain the stability of its developed economy and to prevent threats from outside. According to the Basel AML index data announced in 2019, Estonia faces many financial crime threats, although it is considered a low-risk country.


Overview of AML in Estonia


The Estonian Ministry of Finance is responsible for general policies and activities to prevent money laundering in Estonia. The Estonian Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) is responsible for the analysis and verification of transactions suspected of money laundering and terrorist financing in Estonia. Organizations with AML obligations report suspicious transaction reports to the Estonian Financial Intelligence Unit. The Financial Intelligence Unit is responsible for reporting the crimes it has detected to the legal units. Finantsinspektsioon (Estonian Financial Supervision and Resolution Authority) is responsible for overseeing obligated organizations in Estonia.


Estonia established a government committee to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. Members of the committee include the finance minister, the tax and customs board, the Financial Supervision Authority, and the Central Bank of Estonia. The Committee informs within the scope of combating financial crimes.


Estonia uses the "Anti Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act" which came into force in 2008 as an anti-crime law. Anti Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act is compliant with FATF and European Union AML regulations. Banks, financial services, gambling organizers and real estate agents are under the obligation of this law.


AML Requirements in Estonia


Organizations under the anti-money laundering obligations in Estonia have some responsibilities. Organizations must have an AML compliance officer within their organization. AML compliance officers create the organization's AML program. Organizations must determine customer risk level by applying customer due diligence to their customers. In addition, enhanced due diligence must be applied to high-risk customers. In addition, organizations have to PEP control to customers. Organizations must keep customer information for at least five years. Also, if the Organizations detect a suspicious situation during AML checks, the AML official should prepare the suspicious activity report and report it to the authorized notifications. Various penalties are imposed on organizations that do not meet AML requirements.


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