Buy Anonymous Gold: Germany tops EU targets

From January, the threshold for gold purchases subject to identification will fall to 2,000 euros. A motion by the FPD parliamentary group to maintain the existing limit of 10,000 euros was rejected. The party had argued that the threshold was significantly higher in other EU countries. 

Buying gold anonymously – Bundestag resolution

The lowering of the threshold in Germany for purchases of gold, silver and other precious metals subject to identification from currently 10,000 euros to only 2,000 euros has been decided. On Thursday, the Bundestag approved by a majority the draft law introduced by the Federal Government to implement the amending directive to the Fourth EU Money Laundering Directive. The fact that the Federal Council will now also wave through the law requiring approval is considered a formality. However, this constitutional body recently demanded that the limit even be lowered to 1,000 euros (Goldreporter reported).


Amendment by the FDP

The FDP faction had tabled an amendment calling for the current threshold of 10,000 euros to be maintained. The motion was justified, among other things, by the argument that the EU requirement only provided for a 10,000 euro limit, that numerous EU countries would implement correspondingly higher thresholds as part of the legislative adjustment, and that the Federal Government would operate “gold plating” with its desired limit of 2,000 euros, i.e. would exceed the EU requirements.


Austria, Ireland and Malta with higher thresholds

The FPD had commissioned the Scientific Service of the German Bundestag with research for this purpose. Among other things, the FPD found that (in the wording):

  • in Ireland, the corresponding thresholds were lowered from EUR 15 000 to EUR 10 000 (§ 25 Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Act 2018)1;
  • the United Kingdom also provides for corresponding thresholds of EUR 10 000 for high value dealers;
  • the Netherlands define obligors within the meaning of the Money Laundering Act as natural persons, legal entities or undertakings who act professionally or commercially as buyers or sellers of goods, provided that payment for such goods is made in cash for an amount of EUR 10,000 or more (Article 1a, Wet ter voorkoming van witwassen en financieren van terrorisme, Section 4 d.2°.i.);
  • in Austria commercial traders including auctioneers are covered or addressed by the money laundering regulations as far as they make or receive payments of at least 10,000 Euro in cash (section r) § 365m1. (2)1 of the Gewerbeordnung 1994 in the current version;
  • in Malta, goods traders with a threshold value of EUR 10,000 are recorded as liable parties under Section 2 of the Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism Regulations for money laundering purposes.

The FDP Group’s amendment had been rejected by all other parties. The AfD had rejected the draft law implementing the amending directive to the Fourth EU Money Laundering Directive as a whole.