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Baltic notaries' annual roundtable focuses on money laundering prevention

Office of a notary public in Tallinn. Photo is illustrative.
Office of a notary public in Tallinn. Photo is illustrative. Source: Eesti Meedia/Scanpix

At their annual roundtable meeting on Saturday, Representatives of the chambers of notaries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania focused on challenges related to the prevention of money laundering as well as exchanged experiences related to the practices of oversight in each country.

Matters related to the prevention of money laundering and terrorism are topical in all three countries as the EU directive that entered into force recently brought with it changes to laws and consequently also the duties of notaries, a representative for the Estonian Chamber of Notaries said on Tuesday.

"While the topic of money laundering has become topical primarily due to scandals in the banking sphere, which does not have to do directly with notaries, active discussions are underway on due diligence measures required for the fulfilment of the directive, including how the identification of actual beneficiaries and the origin of the resources used in the transaction could happen within the limits of the possibilities available to notaries," said Estonian Chamber of Notaries chairperson Merle Saar-Johanson.

Also discussed at the meeting were other changes that have taken place in the activities of notaries across the Baltics over the past year.

The annual roundtable meeting of Baltic notaries has been held for more than 20 years, however cooperation between the respective bodies of notaries of the three neighbouring states significantly predates this annual tradition.

The first conference of Baltic notaries took place in Tallinn on 30-31 October 1938, hosted by the Estonian Association of Notaries, which was established in 1933. This year's meeting thus marked the 80th anniversary of the first conference of Baltic notaries and the 85th anniversary of the establishment of the Estonian Association of Notaries.

There are 91 notaries working in Estonia, 21 of whom have over 25 years of experience each.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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