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Cooperation between EU countries in recovering proceeds from crime

Cooperation between EU countries in recovering proceeds from crime


Council Decision 2007/845/JHA on cooperation between EU countries’ Asset Recovery Offices in the field of tracing and identification of proceeds from, or other property related to, crime



It establishes the requirements for the setting up of national Asset Recovery Offices (AROs) in EU countries.


The purpose of AROs is to facilitate the tracing and identification of proceeds of crime which may become the subject of a freezing, seizure or confiscation order, as part of a criminal or civil investigation.

EU countries are required to establish or designate at least one ARO (maximum 2) in their territory. AROs are obliged to exchange information with each other irrespective of their status (law enforcement, judicial or administrative).

An ARO, or another authority of an EU country with similar responsibilities, may make a request for information from an ARO of another EU country for information as part of a criminal or civil investigation. The request should include details of:

  • the object and the reason for the request
  • the nature of the proceedings
  • the property targeted or sought and/or the natural or legal persons (people or companies) presumed to be involved.

An ARO may, without request, spontaneously exchange information which they consider necessary for the execution of tasks of the ARO of another EU country.


It has applied since 18 December 2007.


Following on from the Framework Decision, the European Commission launched an informal platform to further enhance EU cooperation and coordinate exchanges of information and best practice.

  • A 2011 Commission report found that although AROs are an effective tool in targeting criminals’ money, offices faced common problems particularly with regard to their capacity to access relevant financial information.
  • In 2014, Directive 2014/42/EU was adopted establishing minimum EU rules on both the freezing of property with a view to possible subsequent confiscation, and the confiscation of property in criminal matters. EU countries had to incorporate the directive into national law by 4 October 2015.
  • For more information, see ‘Confiscation and asset recovery’on the European Commission's website.


Council Decision 2007/845/JHA of 6 December 2007 concerning cooperation between Asset Recovery Offices of the Member States in the field of tracing and identification of proceeds from, or other property related to, crime (OJ L 332, 18.12.2007, pp. 103-105)


Directive 2014/42/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 on the freezing and confiscation of instrumentalities and proceeds of crime in the European Union (OJ L 127, 29.4.2014, pp. 39-50). Corrections to Directive 2014/42/EU have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Council Framework Decision 2003/577/JHA of 22 July 2003 on the execution in the European Union of orders freezing property or evidence (OJ L 196, 2.8.2003, pp. 45-55). See consolidated version.

Council Framework Decision 2006/783/JHA of 6 October 2006 on the application of the principle of mutual recognition to confiscation orders (OJ L 328, 24.11.2006, pp. 59-78). See consolidated version.

last update 25.04.2016