The Parliament of Romania Law No. 656* republished of December 7th, 2002 on the prevention and sanctioning of money laundering and on setting up of certain measures for the prevention and combating terrorism financing




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The Parliament of Romania

Law No. 656*) republished

of December 7th, 2002

on the prevention and sanctioning of money laundering and on setting up of certain measures for the prevention and combating terrorism financing

Includes the amendments provided by



Lawno. 187/24.10.2012, as it was modified by the rectification published in the Official Gazette of Romania no. 117/01.03.2013

Lawno. 255/19.07.2013, published in the Official Gazette of Romania no.515/14.08.2013

The Parliament of Romania adopts the present law.


****) Republished under Art. IV from the Governmental Emergency Ordinance no. 53/2008 amending and supplementing the Law no. 656/2002 on preventing and sanctioning money laundering, as well as the setting up of some measures for prevention and combating terrorism financing, published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, no. 333 of 30 April 2008, approved with amendments by Law no. 238/2011, published in the Official Gazette,Part I, no. 861 of 7 December 2011, giving a new numbering.

    Law no. 656/2002 was published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, no. 904 of 12 December 2002 and subsequently been amended by:

    - Law no. 39/2003 on preventing and combating organized crime, published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, no. 50 of 29 January 2003;

    - State Budget Law for 2004 no. 507/2003, published in Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, no. 853 of December 2, 2003, as amended and supplemented;

    - State Social Insurance Budget Law for 2004 no. 519/2003, published in Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, no. 864 of 4 December 2003, as amended and supplemented;

    - State Budget Law for 2005 no. 511/2004, published in Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, no. 1121 of 29 November 2004, as amended and supplemented;

    - State Social Insurance Budget Law of 2005 no. 512/2004, published in Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, no. 1128 of 30 November 2004, as amended and supplemented;

    - Law no. 230/2005 amending and supplementing Law no. 656/2002 on preventing and sanctioning money laundering, published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, no. 618 of 15 July 2005;


    - Governmental Emergency Ordinance no. 135/2005 amending the Law no. 656/2002 on preventing and sanctioning money laundering, as well as for setting up some measures for prevention and combating terrorism financing, published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, no. 897 of 7 October 2005 (approved with amendments by Law no. 36/2006, published in Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, no. 200 of 3 March 2006);

    - State Budget Law for 2006 no. 379/2005, published in Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, no. 1151 of 19 December 2005, as amended and supplemented;

    - State Social Insurance Budget Law for 2006 no. 380/2005, published in Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, no. 1150 of 19 December 2005, as amended and supplemented;

    - Law no. 405/2006 amending the Law no. 656/2002 on preventing and sanctioning money laundering, as well as for setting up some measures for prevention and combating terrorism financing, published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, no. 947 of 23 November 2006;

    - Law no. 306/2007 amending the Annex to the Law no. 656/2002 on preventing and sanctioning money laundering, as well as for setting up some measures for prevention and combating terrorism financing, published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, no. 784 of 19 November 2007;

    - Framework Law no. 330/2009 on the unitary remuneration of personnel paid from public funds, published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, no. 762 of 9 November 2009 and corrected in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, no. 268 of 26 April 2010;

    - Governmental Emergency Ordinance no. 26/2010 amending and supplementing Government Emergency Ordinance no. 99/2006 on credit institutions and capital adequacy and other legal acts published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, no. 208 of 1 April 2010 (approved with amendments and completions by Law no. 231/2010, published in Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, no. 826 of 10 December 2010).
Chapter I

General Provisions
Art. 1 - This law establishes measures for the prevention and combating of money laundering and certain measures concerning the prevention and combating the terrorism financing.
Art. 2 - For purposes of the present law:

a) money laundering means the offence provided for in the Art. 29;

b) terrorism financing means the offence referred to in the Art. 36 of the Law no. 535/2004 on the prevention and combating terrorism;

c) property means the corporal or non-corporal, movable or immovable assets, as well as the juridical acts or documents that certify a title or a right regarding them;

d) suspicious transaction means the operation which apparently has no economical or legal purpose or the one that, by its nature and/or its unusual character in relation with the activities of the client of one of the persons referred to in Article 10, raises suspicions of money laundering or terrorism financing;

e) external transfers in and from accountsmeans cross-border transfers, the way they are defined by the national regulations in the field, as well as payment and receipt operations carried out between resident and non-resident persons on the Romanian territory;

f) credit institution means the entity defined in art. 7 paragraph (1) point 10 of Emergency Governmental Ordinance no. 99/2006 on credit institutions and capital adequacy, approved with amendments by Law no. 227/2007, with subsequent modifications and completions;

g) financial institution means any entity, with or without legal capacity, other than credit institution, which carries out one or more of the activities referred to in Article 18, para (1), points b) - l), n) şi n1)of Government Emergency Ordinance no.99/2006 on credit institutions and capital adequacy, approved with modifications and completions by Law no. 227/2007, including postal offices and other specialized entities that provide fund transfer services and those that carry out currency exchange. Within this category there are also:

1. Insurance and reinsurance companies and insurance/reinsurance brokers, authorized according with the provisions of Law no. 32/2000 on the insurance and insurance supervision activity, with subsequent modifications and completions, as well as the branches on the Romanian territory of the insurance and reinsurance companies and insurance and/or reinsurance intermediaries, which were authorized in other member states.

2. Financial investments service companies, investment consultancy, investment management companies, investment companies, market operators, system operators as they are defined under the provisions of Law no. 297/2004 on capital market, with subsequent modifications and completions, and of the regulations issued for its application;

h) business relationshipmeans the professional or commercial relationship that is connected with the professional activities of the institutions and persons covered by article 10 and which is expected, at the time when the contact is established, to have an element of duration;

i) operations that seem to be linked to each other means the transactions afferent to a single transaction, developed from a single commercial contract or from an agreement of any nature between the same parties, whose value is fragmented in portions smaller than 15.000EURO or equivalent RON, when these operations are carried out during the same banking day for the purpose of avoiding legal requirements;

j) shell bankmeans a credit institution, or an institution engaged in equivalent activities, incorporated in a jurisdiction in which it has no physical presence, respectively the leadership and management activity and institution’s records are not in that jurisdiction, and which is unaffiliated with a regulated financial group.

k) service providers for legal persons and other entities or legal arrangementsmeans any natural or legal person which by way of business, provides any of the following services for third parties:

1. Forming companies or other legal persons;

2.Acting as or arranging for another person to act as a director or manager of a company, or acting as associate in relation with a company with sleeping partners or a similar quality in relation to other legal persons;

3. Providing a registered office, administrative address or any other related services for a company, a company with sleeping partners or any other legal person or arrangement;

4. Acting as or arranging for another person to act as a trustee of an express trust activity or a similar legal operation;

5. Acting as or arranging for another person to act as a shareholder for another person other than a company listed on a regulated market that is subject to disclosure requirements in conformity with Community legislation or subject to equivalent international standards;

l) groupmeans a group of entities, as it is defined by article 2 para (1) point 13 of Governmental Emergency Ordinance no. 98/2006 on enhanced supervision of credit institutions, insurance and/or reinsurance companies, financial investment services companies and of investment management companies all part of a financial mixture, approved with modifications and completions by Law no. 152/2007.



Art. 3 (1) In accordance with the provisions of the present law, politically exposed persons are individuals who work or have worked with important public functions, their families and persons publicly known to be close associates of individuals acting in an important public functions.

(2) Natural persons, which are entrusted, for the purposes of the present law, with prominent public functions are:

a) Heads of state, heads of government, members of parliament, European commissioners, members of government, presidential councilors, state councilors, state secretaries;

b) Members of constitutional courts, members of supreme courts, as well as members of the courts whose decisions are not subject to further appeal, except in exceptional circumstances;

c)Members of account courts or similar bodies, members of the boards of central banks;

d) Ambassadors, charges d’affaires and high-ranking officers in the armed forces;

e) Managers of the public institutions and authorities;

f) Members of the administrative, supervisory and management bodies of State-owned enterprises.

(3) None of the categories set out in points (a) to (f) of para (2) shall include middle ranking or more junior officials. The categories set out in points (a) to (e) of para (2) shall, where applicable, include positions at Community and international level.

(4) Family members of the persons exercising important public functions are, in accordance with this law:

a) The spouse;

b) The children and their spouses;

c) The parents

(5) Persons publicly known as close associates of individuals acting in an important public functions are:

a) any natural person who is found to be the real beneficiary of a legal person or legal entity together with any of the persons referred to in para. (2) or having any other privileged business relationship with such a person;

b) any natural person who is the only real beneficiary of a legal person or legal entity known as established for the benefit of any person referred to in para. (2).

(6) Without prejudice to the application, on a risk-sensitive basis, of enhanced customer due diligence measures, where a person has ceased to be entrusted with a prominent public function within the meaning of paragraph (2) for a period of at least one year, institutions and persons referred to in Article 8 shall not consider such a person as politically exposed.

Art. 4– (1) For the purposes of the present law, beneficial owner means any natural person who ultimately owns or controls the customer and/or the natural person on whose behalf or interest a transaction or activity is being conducted, directly or indirectly.

(2) The beneficial owner shall at least include:

a) in the case of corporate entities:

1. the natural person(s) who ultimately owns or controls a legal entity through direct or indirect ownership over a sufficient percentage of the shares or voting rights sufficient to ensure control in that legal entity, including through bearer share holdings, other than a company listed on a regulated market that is subject to disclosure requirements consistent with Community legislation or subject to equivalent international standards. 2. A percentage of 25 % plus one share shall be deemed sufficient to meet this criterion;

2. the natural person(s) who otherwise exercises control over the management of a legal entity;

b) in the case of legal entities, other than those referred to in para (a), and other entities or legal arrangements, which administer and distribute funds:

1. The natural person who is the beneficiary of 25 % or more of the property of a legal person or other entities or legal arrangements, where the future beneficiaries have already been determined;

2. Where the natural persons that benefit from the legal person or entity have yet to be determined, the group of persons in whose main interest the legal person, entity or legal arrangement is set up or operates;

3.The natural person(s) who exercises control over 25 % or more of the property of a legal person, entity or legal arrangement.
Chapter II

Customers Identification Procedures and Processing Procedures of the Information Referring to Money Laundering
Art. 5 – (1) As soon as an employee of a legal or natural person of those stipulated in article 10, or one of the natural person referred to in art. 10 has suspicions that a transaction, which is on the way to be performed, has the purpose of money laundering or terrorism financing, he shall inform the person appointed according to art. 20 para (1), which shall notify immediately the National Office for Preventing and Combating Money Laundering, hereinafter referred to as the Office. The appointed person shall analyze the received information and shall notify the Office about the reasonably motivated suspicions. The Office shall confirm the receipt of the notification. For the natural and legal persons referred to in art. 10 letter. k) notification is sent by the person who has suspicions that the transaction, which is on the way to be performed, has the purpose of money laundering or terrorism financing.

(2) The National Bank of Romania, National Securities Commission, Insurance Supervision Commission or the Supervision Commission for the Private Pension System shall immediately inform the Office with respect to the authorization or refusal of the transactions referred to in article 28 of the Law no. 535/2004 on the prevention and combating terrorism, also notifying the reason for which such solution was given.

(3) If the Office considers as necessary, it may dispose, based on a reason, the suspension of performing the transaction, for a period of 48 hours. When the 48-hour period ends in a non-working day, the deadline extends for the first working day. The amount, in respect of which instructions of suspension were given, shall remain blocked on the account of the holder until the expiring of the period for which the suspension was ordered or, as appropriate, until the General Prosecutor’s Office by the High Court of Cessation and Justice gives new instructions, accordingly with the law.

(4) If the Office that the period mentioned in para (3) is not enough, it may require to the General Prosecutor’s Office by the High Court of Cassation and Justice, based on a reason, before the expiring of this period, the extension of the suspension of the operation for another period up to 72 hours. When the 72-hour period ends in a non-working day, the deadline extends for the first working day. The General Prosecutor’s Office by the High Court of Cassation and Justice may authorize only once the required prolongation or, as the case may be, may order the cessation of the suspension of the operation. The decision of the General Prosecutor’s Office by the High Court of Cassation and Justice is notified immediately to the Office.

(5) The Office must communicate to the persons provided under Art. 10, within 24 hours, the decision of suspending the carrying o of the operation or, as the case may be, the measure of its prolongation, ordered by the General Prosecutor’s Office by the High Court of Cassation and Justice.

(6) If the Office did not make the communication within the term provided under para (5), the persons referred to in the Art. 10 shall be allowed to carry out the operation.

(7) The persons provided in the article 10 or the persons designated accordingly to the article 20 para (1) shall report to the Office, within 10 working days, the carrying out of the operations with sums in cash, in RON or foreign currency, whose minimum threshold represents the equivalent in RON of 15,000EUR, indifferent if the transaction is performed through one or more operations that seem to be linked to each other.

(8) The provisions of the para (7) shall apply also to external transfers in and from accounts for amounts of money whose minimum limit is the equivalent in RON of 15,000EUR.

(9) The persons referred to in article 10 letters e) and f) have no obligation to report to the Office the information they receive or obtain from one of their customers during the process of determining the customer’s legal status or during its defending or representation in certain legal procedures or in connection with therewith, including while providing consultancy with respect to the initiation of certain legal procedures, according to the law, regardless of whether such information has been received or obtained before, during, or after the closure of the procedures.

(10) The form and contents of the report for the operations provided for in the para (1), (7) and (8) shall be established by decision of the Office’s Board, within 30 days from the date of coming into force of the present law. The reports provided for in articles (7) and (8) are forwarded to the Office, in maximum 10 working days, based on a working methodology set up by the Office.

(11) In the case of persons referred to in article 10 para (e) and (f), the reports are forwarded to person designate by the leading structures of the independent legal profession, which have the obligation to transmit them to the Office within three days from reception, at most. The information is sent to the Office unmodified.

(12) National Customs Authority communicates to the Office, on a monthly basis, all the information it holds, according with the law, in relation with the declarations of natural persons regarding cash in foreign currency and/or national one, which is equal or above the limit set forth by the Regulation (CE) no. 1889/2005 of European Parliament and Council on the controls of cash entering or leaving the Community, held by these persons while entering or leaving the Community. National Customs Authority shall transmit to the Office immediately, but no later than 24 hours, all the information related to suspicions on money laundering or terrorism financing which is identified during its specific activity.

(13) The following operations, carried out in his own behalf, are excluded from the reporting obligations provided by para (7): between credit institution, between credit institutions and the National Bank of Romania, between credit institutions and the state treasury, between National Bank of Romania and state treasury. Other exclusions, from the reporting obligations provided by para (7), may be established for a determined period, by Governmental Decision, subsequent to the Office’s Board proposal.

Art. 6- (1) The persons provided for in the Art. 10, which know that an operation that is to be carried out has as purpose money laundering, may carry out the operation without previously announcing the Office, if the transaction must be carried out immediately or if by not performing it, the efforts to trace the beneficiaries of such money laundering suspect operation could be hampered. These persons shall compulsorily inform the Office immediately, but not later than 24 hours, about the transaction performed, also specifying the reason why they did not inform the Office, according to the Art. 5.

(2) The persons referred to in the Art. 10, which ascertain that a transaction or several transactions carried out on the account of a customer are atypical for the activity of such customer or for the type of the transaction in question, shall immediately notify the Office if there are suspicions that the deviations from normality have as purpose money laundering or terrorism financing.

(3) Persons referred to in art. 10 shall immediately notify the Office, when they finds out that regarding to an operation or several operations which were carried out on behalf of a customer there are suspicions that the funds have as purpose money laundering or terrorism financing.
Art. 7 - (1) The Office may require to the persons mentioned in the Art. 10, as well as to the competent institutions to provide the data and information necessary to fulfil the attributions provided by the law. The information connected to the notifications received under Articles 5 and 6 are processed and used within the Office under confidential regime.

(2) The persons provided for in the Art. 10 shall send to the Office the required data and information, within 30 days after the date of receiving the request.

(3) The professional and banking secrecy where the persons provided for in article 10 are kept is not opposable to the Office.

(4) The Office may exchange information, based on reciprocity, with foreign institutions having similar functions and which are equally obliged to secrecy, if such information exchange is made with the purpose of preventing and combating money laundering and terrorism financing.


Art. 8 - (1) The Office shall analyse and process the information, and if the existence of solid grounds of money laundering or financing of terrorism is ascertained, it shall immediately notify the General Prosecution’s Office by the High Court of Cassation and Justice. In case in which it is ascertain the terrorism financing, it shall immediately notify the Romanian Intelligence Service with respect to the transactions that are suspected ofterrorism financing.

(2) The identity of the natural person designated in accordance with Art. 20 para. (1) and of the natural person which, in accordance with Art. 20 para (1), notified the Office may not be disclosed in the content of the notification.

(3) If following the analysing and processing of the information received by the Office the existence of solid grounds of money laundering or terrorism financing is not ascertained, the Office shall keep records of such information.

(4) If the information referred to in the para (2) is not completed over a 10-year period, it shall be filed within the Office.

(5) Following the receipt of notifications, the prosecutor in charge with or overseeing the penal investigation and the Romanian Intelligence Service, may require the Office to complete such notifications.

(6) The Office is obliged to put at the disposal of the prosecutor in charge with or overseeing the penal investigation and the Romanian Intelligence Service, at their request, the data and information that have been obtained according to the provisions of the present law.

(7) The prosecution bodies shall periodically communicate to the Office, the progress in the settlement of the notifications submitted, as well as the amounts on the accounts of the natural or legal persons for which freezing is ordered following the suspension carried out or the provisional measures imposed.

(8) The Office shall provide to the natural and legal persons referred to in the Art. 10, as well as, to the authorities having financial control attributions and to the prudential supervision authorities, through a procedure considered adequate, with general information concerning the suspected transactions and the typologies of money laundering and terrorism financing.

(9) The Office provides the persons referred to in article (10) para (a) and (b), whenever possible, under a confidentiality regime and through a secured way of communication, with information about clients, natural and/or legal persons which are exposed to risk of money laundering and terrorism financing.

(10) Following the receipt of the suspicious transactions reports, if there are found solid grounds of committing other offences than that of money laundering or terrorism financing, the Office shall immediately notify the competent body.

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