Lithuania Postpones MiCA Deadline

March 18, 2024
Lithuania’s government has pushed back the date to be fully compliant with the EU’s Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation, having previously foregone a transition period for the regulation.

Lithuania’s government has pushed back the date to be fully compliant with the EU’s Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation, having previously foregone a transition period for the regulation.

Lithuania’s Ministry of Finance, together with the Bank of Lithuania, has re-submitted its proposals to establish new operational requirements for crypto-asset service providers (CASPs) and consolidate their licensing process.

The new proposals now have a window of feedback lasting until March 28. 

June 1, 2025 is the new deadline for CASPs to obtain a licence under MiCA in Lithuania.

The MiCA regulation begins to come into force as of December 30, 2024. However, member states have an optional transition period until July 1, 2026, which is aimed at allowing providers to adapt to the new requirements. 

Originally, Lithuania was thought to be one of the first movers in terms of implementing the regulation, alongside other jurisdictions such as Austria. 

"The proposals that have been prepared will essentially bring crypto-asset service companies closer to the operating standards applied to financial institutions and will ensure better protection of financial service users,” said Vaida Česnulevičiūtė Markevičienė, Lithuania’s vice minister of finance. 

She acknowledged that compared with the original proposal, CASPs are given more time to adapt to the requirements of the new MiCA and Transfer of Funds Regulation (TFR).

In a statement, the Ministry of Finance said that the proposal for a transition period is based on listening to the arguments of market participants and the fact that CASPs will have to adapt their activities to the new regulation.

“This shows the Ministry of Finance’s openness to listen and discuss with CASPs to find the best solution for all parties involved. The CASP, its customers and regulators,” said Povilas Randis, a partner at Adamano Consulting.

Meanwhile, Jekaterina Govina, a partner at Response Legal and co-founder of Amylyze, pointed out that the initial plan was for the country’s parliament to approve changes in national legislation before the end of 2023, meaning that the market would have roughly a year to re-license their activities according to MiCA. 

“However, parliament will only have its vote this spring, meaning that it would leave too little time for both market and regulator for re-licensing,” she said. “I think that was a motivation behind the decision to change draft legal acts that will be submitted to the parliament.” 

As of June 2025, virtual currency operators operating in the Baltic state will be required to submit documents, data and information specified in the MiCA regulation to the Bank of Lithuania and obtain an operating licence. 

Until then, crypto market participants will be able to consult with the supervisory authority on issues of the new regulation and submit documents for obtaining a licence before the scheduled time.

"Changes in laws that increase regulatory clarity will create prerequisites for the sustainable development of the crypto-asset sector. This will be a kind of clarification of the market, and it should not be difficult for those financial technology companies that adhere to a sustainable business model to adapt," said the vice minister. 

The amendments to the laws provide that the Bank of Lithuania will be responsible for the supervision of CASPs.

The institutions responsible for monitoring the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing (PPTF) of CASPs are the Bank of Lithuania and the country’s Financial Crimes Investigation Service (FNTT).

Govina said that the extension is welcome. “It would definitely allow crypto firms, especially those based in Lithuania to better prepare for operation under the MiCA regime.”

“But we should accept that not all firms currently operating in the market will pass the licensing regime,” she cautioned. 

According to Randis, the finance ministry sends a strong message to all CASPs already registered in Lithuania, as well as those thinking about registering and obtaining a MiCA licence in Lithuania. “CASPs are welcome in Lithuania and will be heard, in exchange for their commitment to ensure compliance.”

“Preparation of MiCA is not a walk in the park for both CASPs and the regulators, and an extension gives CASPs more breathing space to consult with the Bank of Lithuania and submit MiCA licence documentation before the deadline, while the regulator can better prepare for the substantial number of MiCA licence applications, considering a high number of CASPs registered in Lithuania,” he said. 

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