CBCG launches a project for joining the Single Euro Payments Area
The CBCG launched the project of Montenegro’s joining the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). SEPA represents an area where consumers, business entities, and executive authorities can make and receive payments in euros under the same conditions, rights and obligations as in the EU Member States, regardless of location. The initiative for Montenegro’s accession to SEPA was on the list of priorities, with Montenegro’s objective to become a full member by the end of 2024.
Consequently, over the past two years, the CBCG fully aligned its payment system regulations with the acquis communautaire, and it is very close to full convergence with the SEPA conditions. Namely, besides payment system legislation and credit institutions' supervision, there is a whole set of other legal acts, such as the Law on Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism, tax laws, and others that require harmonisation with SEPA requirements. A coordinated amending of the law is necessary to complete the process, which will depend primarily on the synchronised work of the Government of Montenegro and the CBCG.
To implement the project, the CBCG applied for a project to the European Commission for drafting an analysis of the Montenegrin regulations’ compliance with SEPA requirements. The EC accepted and approved the project for financing from EU pre-accession funds.
The SEPA area includes 36 countries: all EU Member States, the UK, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Andorra and the Vatican.
Montenegro’s inclusion in SEPA will lead to removing technical, legal and market barriers between countries supporting payments in euros, safer international payment transactions, equal time for executing remittances for all transactions in euros with countries within the EU, a unique, safer, faster and cheaper payment method in euros with the EU Member States. At the same time, in addition to the benefits felt by Montenegro’s citizens and the economy, Montenegro’s entry into SEPA would represent a clearer signal of Montenegro’s entry into the EU integration’s final phase.