The European Federation of Jewellery (EFJ) has been proactive on the issue of cash payment thresholds, notably by providing inputs to the 2018 report on restrictions on payments in cash. The Federation will continue to be a force of proposal in the future discussion and looks forward to working with the European Commission on the legislative proposal aiming to reinforce and develop the EU single rulebook.
The EFJ welcomed the adoption on the 7th of May of the “Action Plan for a comprehensive Union policy on preventing money laundering and terrorism financing.” The Federation fully agrees with the overall objective to reinforce the fight against money laundering notably by addressing “the major divergences in the way [the current legal framework] is applied.” The Action Plan rightly points out that “the current approach to EU legislation has resulted in a diverging implementation of the framework across the Member States and, partly, in the setting of additional requirements that go beyond those implied by EU law. Examples of such measures are (…) the introduction of limitations to payments in cash.”
Key points of the position paper:
- Different ceilings for cash payments in business-to-consumer transactions go against the internal market principles, have serious economic impact and can be a cause of money laundering.
- Cash restriction limits often differ also within the Member States creating unjustified discriminations between residents and non-residents.
- Due to its market structure, the jewellery sector is particularly exposed to the current lack of harmonisation in the cash limit rules within the EU.
- Cash remains the preferred form of payments in the Euro area: on top of ensuring the protection of personal data, it is universally accepted, costless, flexible and allows the immediate closure of payments.
- The EFJ urges the European Commission to put forward an EU initiative aimed at harmonising the limits for cash payments in business-to-consumer transactions by proposing a proportionate ceiling which takes into consideration the different necessities and sensibilities of EU citizens.