On 25 February 2021, the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) published a joint supervisory statement designed to mitigate the risk of divergent application of the Regulation on sustainability related disclosures in the financial sector (SFDR) from 10 March 2021 to the application date of the regulatory technical standards (RTS) on the content, methodologies and presentation of sustainability-related disclosures.

The joint statement provides that for the sake of applying the provisions of the SFDR without the RTS during the interim period, Member State national competent authorities (NCAs) are encouraged to refer financial market participants and financial advisers to the requirements set out in the draft RTS of the final report that the ESAs submitted to the European Commission (Commission) on 4 February 2021. The draft RTS can be used as a reference for the purposes of applying the provisions of Articles 2a, 4, 8, 9 and 10 of the SFDR in the interim period.

The joint statement adds that it is important to note that the draft RTS still have to be adopted by the Commission and that the European Parliament or the Council may object to the draft RTS within a period of three months from the date of notification of the RTS adopted by the Commission. Therefore, the final RTS may be different to the draft RTS in the ESAs’ final report. Nevertheless, the ESAs recommend NCAs to encourage financial market participants and financial advisers to use the interim period from 10 March 2021 until 1 January 2022 to prepare for the application of the final RTS.

The ESAs have also set out in the annex to the joint statement more specific guidance as a reminder of the application timeline of some of the specific provisions of the SFDR, the Taxonomy Regulation and the related RTS.