The reinforced rules on explosives precursors will ensure stronger safeguards and controls, including online, on the sale and marketing of the dangerous chemicals, which have been used to produce “home-made” explosives in a number of terror attacks in Europe. The new measures on access to financial information will allow law enforcement to obtain important financial information across borders quickly, helping them fight serious crime and terrorism more effectively.
Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said: “Terrorists and criminals will find it much harder to get their hands on dangerous chemicals to produce home-made bombs or money to fuel their crimes.”
Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová said: “Following the money is one of the most effective ways to fight organised crime and terrorism. Our law enforcement authorities gain an important tool to get financial information quickly to improve security of our citizens and serve justice.”
The EU already has strict rules in place on access to chemical substances that can be used to produce homemade explosives, however the new Regulation will ban additional substances: two additional chemicals will be banned: sulphuric acid, which is a central ingredient for the production of the highly explosive TATP (tri-acetone tri-peroxide); as well as ammonium nitrate, a chemical predominantly used as a fertiliser.
Also it will strengthen licensing and screening: national authorities will be required to carry out a more in-depth check on members of the public applying for a license to purchase restricted substances. In particular, they will need to check the legitimacy of such a request and perform a careful security screening, including a criminal background check on the applicant.
The new measures for cross-border access to financial information by law enforcement authorities will complement the EU Anti-Money Laundering framework while ensuring timely access to information: law enforcement authorities, Asset Recovery Offices (AROs) and anti-corruption authorities to have direct access to bank account information contained in the national centralised bank account registries. All Member States have to set up these registries under new EU Anti-Money Laundering rules.
I is believed that it will ensure better cooperation: the new rules will also ensure greater cooperation between national law enforcement, Europol and Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) and will further facilitate the exchange of information between the national FIUs.
It should also provide stronger data protection safeguards..