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.