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Migration and Home Affairs
News article25 May 2022Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs1 min read

EU proposes new rules to confiscate assets of criminals and oligarchs evading sanctions

EU proposes new rules to confiscate assets of criminals and oligarchs evading sanctions

Today, the Commission proposes a new Directive on Asset Recovery and Confiscation. It includes rules on asset recovery from tracing and identification, through freezing and management, to confiscation of assets.

The Asset Recovery and Confiscation Directive proposes to modernise EU rules on asset recovery and confiscation by:

  • Ensuring that financial investigations aimed at tracing illicit assets are swiftly launched in all complex criminal investigations against organised crime.
  • Providing Asset Recovery Offices with the powers and information to swiftly trace and identify criminal assets, including by urgently freezing property.
  • Establishing Asset Management Offices to ensure that frozen property does not lose value, enabling the sale of frozen assets that could easily depreciate or are costly to maintain.
  • Facilitating the cooperation of Asset Recovery and Asset Management Offices with their partners in other Member States and non-EU countries, contributing to the global fight against illicit assets.
  • Expanding the possibilities to confiscate assets from a wider set of crimes, such as: trafficking in firearms or cultural goods; counterfeiting and piracy of products; organised or armed robbery; or migrant smuggling; as well as introducing the possibility of confiscation of unexplained wealth linked to criminal activities.
  • Reinforcing the safeguards to ensure full respect of fundamental rights and procedural guarantees for those affected by freezing and confiscation measures.
  • Requiring national strategies on asset recovery that promote cooperation among all competent authorities.

This Directive will contribute to the effective implementation of EU sanctions by:

  • making sure that asset tracing investigations are launched early on to detect and prevent the evasion of sanctions.
  • Extending the mandate of Asset Recovery Offices to swiftly trace and identify assets of individuals and entities subject to EU sanctions.
  • Ensuring that asset recovery and confiscation rules are applied in relation to offences related to the violation of EU sanctions.
  • Strengthening international and cross-border cooperation.

More information


Publication date
25 May 2022
Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs