The nominated project at the European Commission for the analysis of non-compliance of Montenegrin regulations with SEPA requirements resulted in the selection of consultants for technical assistance with experience in the implementation of this process for earlier requests to the EU in the process of European integration. In accordance with the previous 11.07.2023.god. UBCG hosted the selected experts, where we got to know roughly the deadlines and plans for implementation. The initiative should be implemented as an official request by the second half of December 2024.
The meeting discussed challenges for banks, ongoing processes, PSD2, familiarization of the system with the SEPA rulebook, familiarization with the good basis of the system for implementation in terms of the presence of EU bank shareholders, compliance with AML procedures, additional improvements needed, etc.
The Central Bank of Montenegro launched the project of Montenegro’s accession to the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA – Single Euro Payments Area). SEPA represents an area where consumers, business entities and executive authorities can make and receive payments in euros under the same basic conditions, rights and obligations as in the countries of the European Union, regardless of their location. The CBCG reminds that in the past two years they have fully harmonized their payment transaction regulations with those of the EU, and full convergence with SEPA conditions is close.
Apart from regulations in the field of payment transactions and supervision of credit institutions, there is a whole series of other legal acts, such as the Law on Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism, tax laws, and other acts that must be harmonized with SEPA requirements. A coordinated amendment of the law is a necessary condition for rounding off this process, which will primarily depend on the synchronized work of the Government of Montenegro and the CBCG.
The SEPA area includes 36 countries: all EU members, Great Britain, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Andorra and the Vatican. The inclusion of Montenegro in SEPA will lead to the removal of technical, legal and market barriers between countries that support payments in euros, safer international payment transactions, equal time for remittances for all transactions in euros with countries within the EU, a unique, safer, faster and cheaper payment method in euros with EU member countries. At the same time, the entry of Montenegro into SEPA would, in addition to the benefits felt by citizens and the economy of Montenegro, represent one of the clearest signals of Montenegro’s entry into the final phase of integration into the EU, the CBCG concluded.