The Republic of Macedonia joined the fight against money laundering in October 1993, with the ratification of the Vienna Convention – The United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. Additionally, the legal basis for regulating money laundering is the numerous international conventions, directives of the European Union such as the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime – Palermo Convention – adopted in 2000, Strasbourg Convention – adopted in 1990, Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism from 2005, amending the 1990 Strasbourg Convention, the European Community Directive on the prevention of the use of the financial system for money laundering purposes from 1991 and the 40 Recommendations of the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) on money laundering.
In the Republic of Macedonia, the act “Money laundering and other proceeds of crime” is a crime regulated by Article 273 of the Criminal Code. The legal framework related to money laundering and financing of terrorism was first established in 2001 with the Law on Prevention of Money Laundering, and fully regulated in 2008 with the adoption of the Law on Prevention of Money Laundering and Other Proceeds of Crime and Financing of Terrorism.
The most important role in the process of preventing money laundering and financing of terrorism is played by the entities – legal and natural persons that are obliged to apply the preventive measures for detection and prevention of money laundering and financing of terrorism, as well as the Financial Intelligence Office which aims to protect the financial system of the Republic of Macedonia.
On December 28, 2020, the President of the Republic of Macedonia and the President of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia promulgated the Law on Amendments to the Law on Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism, which amends the Law on Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia” No. 120/18 and “Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia” No. 275/19). The amendment was made in order to harmonize the provisions of the Law on Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism with the provisions of the Law on Misdemeanors, the Law on Central Population Register, the Law on Electronic Management and Electronic Services and the Law on Electronic Documents, Electronic Identification and Confidential services, and in accordance with the international standards in which measures to detect and prevent money laundering and financing of terrorism are provided – FATF recommendations and EU Directives.