As mentioned in our October 2020 briefing (Single Electronic Reporting Format: Reminder for Issuers) the Transparency Directive, the Irish Transparency Regulations and the ESEF Regulation require issuers of retail debt securities listed on EU regulated markets to prepare their annual financial reports using the European Single Electronic Reporting Format (ESEF) for financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2020.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, requests were made to postpone the application of this new requirement.

In December 2020, political agreement was reached at EU-level to allow Member States to opt to defer the application of the ESEF obligation by one year. However, as an amendment to the Transparency Directive will be needed to formally allow Member States to defer application, and that amendment is unlikely to come into effect before March 2021, there was uncertainty about how the deferral would be implemented before that date.

The Central Bank of Ireland (Central Bank) has now confirmed that Ireland will avail of the option to defer the application of the ESEF obligation by one year. This follows similar moves by regulators in Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands and the UK.

You can read about what this Central Bank announcement means for issuers in our briefing - Single Electronic Reporting Format – Ireland defers application by one year