On July 29, the European Commission (EC) published a communication on equivalence in the area of financial services (Communication). The EC states that, in light of recent policy developments, it is timely to take stock of the EU’s approach to equivalence.

The Communication discusses the purpose and importance of equivalence. The EC states that each new decision is looked at individually and in detail to ensure that the policies of third countries are compatible with those of the EU, and that any equivalence determination is beneficial to, and sustainable for, both parties.EU financial services law includes approximately 40 provisions that allow the EC to adopt equivalence decisions and as of July 29, the EC has adopted more than 280 equivalence decisions for more than 30 countries.
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On June 18, 2019, the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Over the Counter Derivatives, Central Counterparties and Trade Repositories) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (the Regulations) were published on legislation.gov.uk with an explanatory memorandum.

The Regulations make amendments to UK legislation to ensure that the regulation amending the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR REFIT) is fully

On May 28, the regulation amending the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR), or EMIR REFIT, was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. A handful of provisions are subject to delayed implementation (per Article 2, thereof), but the majority will go into effect on June 17, being 20 days after publication.
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On May 14, the Council of the European Union (Council of the EU) published a press release announcing that it had adopted at first reading the proposed Regulation to amend the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR), or the EMIR Refit Regulation. This follows the preliminary political agreement the Council of the EU and the European Parliament reached in February 2019 on proposed amendments to be made to EMIR (as reported in the February 8, 2019 edition of the Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest).
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On February 5, the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament announced a preliminary agreement on a proposal for a Regulation to amend the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR Refit). The proposal aims to improve the existing regulatory framework applying to the over-the-counter (OTC) derivative market.
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On February 4, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published an updated version of its questions and answers document (Q&As) on the implementation of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).

The amendments include:

  • An amended question in relation to trade repositories (TRs) to confirm how counterparties should report a derivative with no maturity date;

On January 31, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a statement addressing issues on the forthcoming implementation of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation Regulatory Fitness and Performance program (EMIR REFIT), relating to clearing and trading obligations for small financial counterparties. ESMA’s statement also addresses the requirements for reporting of derivatives that were outstanding on or after August 16, 2012, and terminated before the EMIR reporting start date of February 12, 2014, which is a process commonly referred to as “backloading.”
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On December 12, it was reported that the European Commission (EC) intends to grant temporary and conditional equivalence status to UK central counterparties (CCPs) under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) in the event of the United Kingdom withdrawing from the European Union (Brexit) without concluding a withdrawal agreement (“no-deal Brexit”).
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