The Netherlands is not on the FATF List of Countries that have been identified as having strategic AML deficiencies.
Compliance with FATF Recommendations
The last Mutual Evaluation Report relating to the implementation of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards in The Netherlands was undertaken by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in 2011. According to that Evaluation, The Netherlands was deemed Compliant for 6 and Largely Compliant for 22 of the FATF 40 + 9 Recommendations. It was Partially Compliant or Non-Compliant for 2 of the 6 Core Recommendations.
US Department of State Money Laundering assessment (INCSR)
Netherlands is categorised by the US State Department as a Country/Jurisdiction of Primary Concern in respect of Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.
The Netherlands is an active player in the field of AML/CFT. Nevertheless, as a major trade and financial center the Netherlands is an attractive venue for laundering funds generated from illicit activities, including those related to the sale of drugs. A government-commissioned study from 2018 estimated that around $17.7 billion is laundered annually in the Netherlands.
Six islands in the Caribbean fall under the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of the Netherlands:
Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba are special municipalities of the Netherlands; and Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten are autonomous countries within the Kingdom. The Netherlands provides supervision for the courts and for combating crime and drug trafficking within the Kingdom.
There are no international sanctions currently in force against this country.
BRIBERY & CORRUPTION
Rating (100-Good / 0-Bad)
Transparency International Corruption Index 82
World Governance Indicator – Control of Corruption 96
Corruption does not represent a constraint to business in the Netherlands. Petty corruption is almost non-existent, and the public administration is transparent, efficient and holds high ethical standards. The Dutch Penal Code makes it illegal for anyone to give or receive a bribe in the public or private sector, including a foreign public official. Dutch and foreign companies and their subsidiaries can be held liable for corruption offences committed by individuals working on their behalf and can be ordered to pay up to 10% of their turnover. Facilitation payments are not permitted, while gifts and hospitality may be considered illegal depending on the intent and benefit obtained. The legal framework to fight corruption generally complies with the provisions of the major anti-corruption conventions. Despite increased efforts to crack down on transnational bribery, the country has been criticised by the OECD for insufficient investigation and prosecution activities. Bribery is not widespread in the Netherlands. For further information - GAN Integrity Business Anti-Corruption Portal
The Netherlands, the sixth-largest economy in the European Union, plays an important role as a European transportation hub, with a persistently high trade surplus, stable industrial relations, and moderate unemployment. Industry focuses on food processing, chemicals, petroleum refining, and electrical machinery. A highly mechanized agricultural sector employs only 2% of the labour force but provides large surpluses for food-processing and underpins the country’s status as the world’s second largest agricultural exporter.
The Netherlands is part of the euro zone, and as such, its monetary policy is controlled by the European Central Bank. The Dutch financial sector is highly concentrated, with four commercial banks possessing over 90% of banking assets. The sector suffered as a result of the global financial crisis and required billions of dollars of government support, but the European Banking Authority completed stringent reviews in 2014 and deemed Dutch banks to be well-capitalized. To address the 2009 and 2010 economic downturns, the government sought to stimulate the domestic economy by accelerating infrastructure programs, offering corporate tax breaks for employers to retain workers, and expanding export credits. The stimulus programs and bank bailouts, however, resulted in a government budget deficit of 5.3% of GDP in 2010 that contrasted sharply with a surplus of 0.7% in 2008.
The government of Prime Minister Mark RUTTE has since implemented significant austerity measures to improve public finances and has instituted broad structural reforms in key policy areas, including the labour market, the housing sector, the energy market, and the pension system. As a result, the government budget deficit at the end of 2015 dropped to 2% of GDP. Following a protracted recession during which unemployment doubled to 7.4% and household consumption contracted for nearly three consecutive years, 2014 saw fragile GDP growth of 1% and a rise in most economic indicators. Growth picked up in 2015 as households boosted purchases through reduced saving. Drivers of growth included increased exports and business investments, as well as newly invigorated household consumption.
Agriculture - products:
grains, potatoes, sugar beets, fruits, vegetables; livestock
agro industries, metal and engineering products, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum, construction, microelectronics, fishing
Exports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels; foodstuffs
Exports - partners:
Germany 24.5%, Belgium 11.1%, UK 9.3%, France 8.4%, Italy 4.2% (2015)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, fuels, foodstuffs, clothing
Imports - partners:
Germany 14.7%, China 14.5%, Belgium 8.2%, US 8.1%, UK 5.1% (2015)
Investment Climate - US State Department
The Netherlands consistently ranks among the world’s most competitive industrialized economies. It offers an attractive business and investment climate and remains a welcoming location for business investment from the United States and elsewhere.
Distinguishing strengths of the Dutch economy include the Netherlands’ stable political and macroeconomic climate, a highly developed financial sector, strategic location, well-educated and productive labor force, and high quality physical and communications infrastructures. Investors in the Netherlands take advantage of its highly competitive logistics industry, anchored by the largest port and fourth-largest airport in Europe. In telecommunications, the Netherlands has the highest internet penetration in the European Union (EU) and hosts the largest data transport hub in the world.
The Netherlands is the largest recipient and source of foreign direct investment in the world and the largest historical recipient of direct investment from the United States. This position reflects the Netherlands’ competitive economy and a tax climate that many corporations find favorable. The Dutch economy is characterized by a high degree of foreign investment, in a wide range of sectors including logistics, information technology, and manufacturing.
Since the financial crisis, the Dutch government has begun implementing significant reforms in key policy areas, including the labor market, the housing sector, the energy market, the pension system, and health care. Reflecting common Dutch practices, these reform policies were crafted following close consultations with key stakeholders, including business associations, labor unions, and civil society groups.
Following a protracted recession that ended in late 2013 and anemic GDP growth of 0.8 percent in 2014, the macroeconomic outlook in the Netherlands has changed for the better in 2015. The Dutch economy is currently considered to be experiencing stable growth and the Dutch government projects economic growth of 1.8 percent of GDP in 2016 and 2.0 percent in 2017. Projected drivers of growth include increased exports and business investments, as well as newly invigorated domestic consumption.
The Netherlands is the top destination of U.S. FDI abroad, just over $753 billion out of a total of $4.9 trillion U.S. FDI worldwide. This amounts to over 15% of U.S. FDI.
Dutch investors contribute $305 billion FDI to the United States. Over 10% of the $2.9 trillion of inward FDI destined for the United States originates from the Netherlands.
Other Useful Links