Home/ News / World/  After FATF, European Union removes Pakistan from list 'High-Risk Third Countries'

The European Union on Wednesday removed Pakistan from its list of "High-Risk Third Countries," a move which can help the crisis-hit country to conduct its business more freely. Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif welcomed the decision and said it would facilitate the country's businesses, individuals, and entities.

High-Risk Third Countries is a list that includes countries without robust anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing regimes. “In line with last year’s FATF (Financial Action Task Force) decision, the EU has decided to remove Pakistan from its list of countries with high risk regarding money laundering and financing of terrorism," it said on Twitter.

In October 2022, the FATF, which is a global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog removed Pakistan from the list of countries under “increased monitoring." The body lauded Pakistan's “significant progress" and said that since 2018, the country completed two action plans comprising a 34-point tasklist.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Commerce on Wednesday said the “increased monitoring" by FATF in 2018 resulted in creating a regulatory burden affecting Pakistani companies doing business with the 27-member bloc.

"De-listing of Pakistan from EU's updated list of high-risk third-countries is a major development which would facilitate our businesses, individuals, and entities," Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif tweeted.

The Ministry of Commerce in Pakistan has announced that "Obligated Entities" belonging to EU member states will no longer have to implement "Enhanced Customer Due Diligence" when engaging in transactions with individuals or businesses based in Pakistan.

These entities consist of credit institutions, financial institutions, auditors, external accountants, tax advisors, notaries, independent legal professionals (who represent and work for their clients in any financial or property transaction), estate agents, and individuals involved in trading goods.

Pakistan's PM affirmed that this reflects the government's unwavering resolve to further strengthen the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime.

(With inputs from PTI)



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Updated: 29 Mar 2023, 10:40 PM IST
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