On 5 February 2019, the Council of the EU announced that it and the European Parliament had reached a preliminary agreement on the draft Regulation amending the EMIR (the EMIR Refit Regulation).

The announcement states that the agreed text:

  • introduces a new category of “small financial counterparties” which will be exempted from the obligation to clear their transactions through a central counterparty (CCP), while remaining subject to risk mitigation obligations. Smaller non-financial counterparties will have reduced clearing obligations;
  • extends by another two years (further extendable twice by an additional year) the temporary exemption from the clearing obligation of pension scheme arrangements;
  • streamlines existing rules on the reporting obligation in order to improve the quality of the data reported and make supervision more effective. In particular, it will remove the obligation to report historic data (“backloading”) as well as intragroup transactions involving non-financial counterparties; and
  • introduces an obligation on clearing brokers to provide services on fair, reasonable, non-discriminatory and transparent commercial terms by ensuring in particular transparency on fees as well as unbiased and rational contractual arrangements.

The next step is for the draft text to be submitted to EU ambassadors for endorsement.