EU removes Pakistan from List of High Risk Third Countries

Shehbaz, Bilawal, Naveed Qamar welcome decision

ISLAMABAD    -    European Union (EU) has removed Pakistan from the List of High Risk Third Countries which have strategic deficiencies in the Anti Money Laundering / Countering the Financ­ing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime that pose significant threat to their financial system.

According to the Del­egated Regulation, “Fol­lowing the measures implemented to ad­dress the action plans agreed with the FATF, Nicaragua, Pakistan and Zimbabwe have reme­died the strategic defi­ciencies in their respec­tive AML/CFT regimes and no longer pose a significant AML/CFT threat to the interna­tional financial system. Taking into account their relevance under the revised methodolo­gy, the Commission con­siders that these juris­dictions no longer have strategic deficiencies in their respective AML/CFT frameworks and do not pose a significant threat to the fi­nancial system of the Europe­an Union.” As a consequence of the said measure, the “Ob­ligated Entities” in EU mem­ber states would no longer be required to apply “Enhanced Customer Due Diligence” while dealing with individuals and legal entities established in Pakistan. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has welcomed the decision. “De-listing of Pa­kistan from EU’s updated list of high-risk third-countries is a major development which will facilitate our businesses, individuals & entities. It is a reflection of our unwavering resolve to further strength­en anti-money laundering & anti-terror financing regime”. Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhut­to Zardari tweeted that EU au­thorities have removed Paki­stan from the List of High Risk Third Countries which have strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regime. “Pakistani businesses and individuals would no longer be subjected to enhanced customer due dil­igence by European legal and economic operators,” he add­ed. Commerce Minister Nav­eed Qamar said that EU has re­moved Pakistan from the List of High Risk Third Countries. Pakistani businesses and in­dividuals would no longer be subjected to ‘Enhanced Cus­tomer Due Diligence’ by Euro­pean legal and economic op­erators. It might be recalled that Pakistan was included in the List of High Risk Countries on 22nd October 2018 by EU. The placement of Pakistan in the list had created undue reg­ulatory burden on “Obligat­ed Entities” in EU and there were instances whereby some of them had refused to enter­tain legal and financial trans­actions with individuals and entities based in Pakistan.

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