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Dutch Central Bank Gives Crypto Firms 2 Weeks to Register

Dutch crypto companies must register with the Netherlands’ central bank by May 18 or cease operations immediately, the monetary authority said Monday.

De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) is moving to quickly enforce enhanced Dutch anti-money laundering (AML) laws, which passed the Dutch Parliament last month to comply with the European Union’s AML directives and standards set by the Financial Action Task Force.  

DNB’s speedy regulatory flex – the Dutch Upper House passed its “amended” Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD4) laws on April 21 –  threatens firms that convert crypto and fiat or offer crypto custody services with immediate cease-and-desist orders if they do not register by the deadline. Crypto-to-crypto companies do not need to register. 

It was not immediately clear why DNB and Parliament cited the EU’s amended “fourth anti-money laundering directive” in their respective statements and laws instead of the more recent directive, AMLD 5. A DNB representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Firms that fail to register “must therefore cease your existing activities” on May 18 and face fines and “enforcement action,” DNB wrote in its press release. The release noted a draft application was sufficient to fulfill the registration needs for the mid-May date.

The call to action appears to formalize a similar registration notice sent in September 2019, months after the EU released its fifth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive but before the Dutch Parliament agreed on its version. AMLD 5 gave EU member states until Jan. 10 to implement the directive. 

But the Dutch Parliament did not strengthen its AML laws until April 21, months after the directive deadline had passed. That truancy, plus the central bank’s previous call for registrations, may have prompted DNB to set its unusually tight two week notice now.

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