EU removes Mauritius from its ‘blacklist’ of high-risk third countries
The European Commission announced, on 10 January, that it had removed Mauritius from its list of high-risk third countries – the so-called ‘EU blacklist’ – noting that it had strengthened the effectiveness of its Anti-Money Laundering / Counter Terrorist Financing (AML/CFT) regime sufficiently to consider that previously identified strategic deficiencies had been rectified.
The EU de-listing was widely expected after Mauritius was removed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) from its list of ‘Jurisdictions under Increased Monitoring’ in October 2021.
The European Commission’s amending Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/1675 states: “The FATF welcomed significant progress made by Botswana, Ghana and Mauritius in improving its AML/CFT regime and noted that Botswana, Ghana and Mauritius have established the legal and regulatory framework to meet the commitments in their action plans regarding the strategic deficiencies that the FATF had identified.
“The Commission’s analysis concludes that The Bahamas, Botswana, Ghana, Iraq and Mauritius no longer have strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regime considering the available information. The Bahamas, Botswana, Ghana, Iraq and Mauritius have strengthened the effectiveness of their AML/CFT regime. These measures are sufficiently comprehensive and meet the necessary requirements to consider that strategic deficiencies identified under article 9 of the Directive (EU) 2015/849 have been removed.”
“This decision is very good news and comes as a welcome relief to all those operating in affected industries in Mauritius as the country looks to further strengthen its AML/CFT regime and put the listing experience behind it,” said Ben Lowe, Legal Counsel at Sovereign Trust (Mauritius).
“The government of Mauritius has reiterated its strong political commitment to sustain the AML/CFT reforms and the fight against money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation financing. The government has also made it clear that Mauritius and its regulators are committed to take bold actions that are required to protect the integrity of its financial systems, including the global business sector.”
The full European Commission Delegated Regulation can be viewed at https://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-5174-2022-INIT/en/pdf