Spain’s stores to flag up foreigners spending more than €10,000 in cash

Government announces crackdown on money laundering in line with 2015 EU directive

The Spanish government has announced further plans to crack down on money laundering through a series of measures that include tougher sanctions against wrongdoers, guaranteed anonymity for whistle-blowers, and requiring stores to flag up purchases of more than €10,000.

The cash limit for purchases by non-residents stands at €15,000.
The cash limit for purchases by non-residents stands at €15,000.Julián Rojas

The proposals are outlined in an Economy Ministry document that is up for public consultation until June 10 and which aims to bring Spanish law into line with a European Union (EU) directive from May 2015.

The limit for cash payments for non-residents in Spain will remain at €15,000

Spanish law already includes most of the measures outlined in the EU directive, but some articles require adapting, particularly in relation to legal authority to impose sanctions.

The government wants to bring sanctions up to date, “making them compatible with the maximum limits outlined in the European directive,” which means improving detection and making it easier for people to report money laundering by offering greater confidentiality.

The idea is not to make any “fundamental modification” to the law on money laundering and financing terrorism, but to toughen penalties.

Regarding payments in cash, the limit for non-residents in Spain will remain at €15,000, but retailers will have to introduce anti-money laundering measures on purchases of more than €10,000. For residents, the limit is €2,500.

Aside from toughening the sanctions, the Economy Ministry’s document looks at changing the structure of business groups to bring them in line with Europe, and creating a registry of professional service providers to companies and organizations without legal personality.

English version by Nick Lyne.


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