On Thursday, 30 May, Latvia’s Saeima supported in the first reading amendments to the Law on International Sanctions and National Sanctions of the Republic of Latvia. This legislative draft is important for compliance with recommendations from Moneyval to help sort Latvia’s finance system, providing for sped up application of international sanctions – within 48 hours after announcement, as reported by Saeima’s press-service.
«To fulfil requirements detailed in Moneyval report and enhance Latvia’s ability to fight against money laundering and terrorism financing, it is necessary to reassess risks topical not only for our national security but also stability of the finance sector, as well as international reputation. With amendments it is planned to introduce Moneyval recommendations to greatly enhance our financial sector and our ability to oppose modern threats,» said the head of Saeima’s Foreign Affairs Committee Rihards Kols.
The aforementioned amendments also provide for adopting on a legislative level a forma and legal mechanism to allow Latvia to establish international sanctions without implementation of national sanctions. The annotation to the legislative draft explains that Latvia already has such rights internationally.
The legislative draft expands the number of competent institutions responsible for monitoring of international or national sanctions. The draft also provides for establishing state-associated sanctions are to be complied with by all people in Latvia. Amendments also clarify regulations regarding compliance with sanctions in public procurements.
To coordinate actions of competent institutions and create a unified approach for application of regulations, amendments delegate the rights to the Cabinet of Minister to form a Sanction Coordination Council.
Conceptually approved amendments also provide for establishing a duty to report attempts to breach or circumvent national or international sanctions, possible violations and access of arrested funds. At the same time, it is planned to relieve persons who inform competent institutions or the State Security Service of possible sanction violations from legal and civil liability.
Additionally, the legislative draft also provides for establishing administrative liability in national and international sanctions in the form of a fine from 100 to 200 000 euros for private persons and 1 000 to 200 000 euros for legal persons.
For the legislative draft to come to force, it needs to the supported by the Saeima in the second and final reading.