Request for a preliminary ruling from the Administratīvā rajona tiesa (Latvia) lodged on 28 October 2020 – SIA Rodl & Partner v Valsts ieņēmumu dienests

(Case C-562/20)

Language of the case: Latvian

Referring court

Administratīvā rajona tiesa

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicant: SIA Rodl & Partner

Defendant: Valsts ieņēmumu dienests

Questions referred

Must Article 18(1) and (3) of Directive 2015/849, 1 in conjunction with Annex III, point 3(b), thereto, be interpreted as meaning that those provisions i) automatically require a provider of external bookkeeping services to take enhanced customer due diligence measures on the ground that the customer is a non-governmental organisation and the person authorised and employed by the customer is a national of a high-corruption-risk third country, in the present case, the Russian Federation, who holds a Latvian residence permit, and ii) automatically require that customer to be categorised as representing a higher degree of risk?

If the preceding question is answered in the affirmative, can the abovementioned interpretation of Article 18(1) and (3) of Directive 2015/849 be regarded as proportionate and, therefore consistent with the first subparagraph of Article 5(4) of the Treaty on European Union?

Must Article 18 of Directive 2015/849, in conjunction with Annex III, point 3(b), thereto, be interpreted as meaning that it lays down an automatic obligation to take enhanced customer due diligence measures in every case where one of the customer’s business partners, but not the customer itself, is in some way linked to a high-corruption-risk third country, in the present case, the Russian Federation?

Must Article 13(1)(c) and (d) of Directive 2015/849 be interpreted as meaning that, when taking customer due diligence measures, the obliged entity must obtain from the customer a copy of the contract concluded between that customer and a third party, and, therefore, that an examination of that contract in situ is considered to be insufficient?

Must Article 14(5) of Directive 2015/849 be interpreted as meaning that the obliged entity is required to apply due diligence measures to existing commercial customers even where there is no indication of any significant changes in the customer’s circumstances and the time limit laid down by the competent authority of the Member State for the adoption of new monitoring measures has not expired, and that that obligation is applicable only in relation to customers that have been categorised as representing a high risk?

Must Article 60(1) and (2) of Directive 2015/849 be interpreted as meaning that, when publishing information on a decision imposing an administrative sanction or measure for breach of the national provisions transposing that directive against which there is no appeal, the competent authority has an obligation to ensure that the information published conforms exactly to the information contained in that decision?

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1     Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2015 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing, amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Directive 2006/70/EC (OJ 2015 L 141, p. 73).