The Central Bank of Montenegro (CBCG) launched the project of Montenegro joining the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA – Single Euro Payments Area).
As announced by the CBCG, 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 initiative for Montenegro’s accession to SEPA was put on the list of priorities with the goal of Montenegro becoming a full member by the end of 2024.
– In line with the above, the Central Bank of Montenegro has, over the past two years, fully harmonized its regulations in the field of payment transactions with the regulations in the EU, while it is very close to full convergence with the SEPA conditions as well. Namely, in addition to 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 Single Euro Payments Area requirements. The 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 announcement states.
In order to implement this project, the CBCG submitted a project to the European Commission for the analysis of compliance of Montenegrin regulations 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 members, Great Britain, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Andorra and the Vatican.
– The inclusion of Montenegro in Single Euro Payments Area 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 way payments in euros with EU member countries – according to the Central Bank.
At the same time, they add, 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.