In the newsletter of September 2014, we discussed the REMIT regulation. This regulation prohibits insider trading and/or market manipulation by market parties. The regulation has now been worked out in more detail in the Implementing Acts (IA) , which focus more specifically on how and when players should report standard and non-standard contracts, but also on how to report the use of storage units and of booked secondary transport capacity. These IA were adopted on December 17, 2014, and came into force on January 7, 2015.
Transaction information standard deals
The IA determine that standard contracts (contracts concluded in organized market places, such as the ICE Endex trading exchange) must be reported from October 7, 2015. Market parties cannot report standard contracts themselves; this has to be done through the organized market place where the contract was traded or through transaction matching or transaction reporting systems. This means that a market party who, for example, closes a contract on February 1, must report this contract on February 2. This also applies to any contract amendments or terminations. It is also important to report all orders to trade, matched and unmatched (these are the bid and offer prices that are placed on the screens by market parties). Contracts concluded before October 7, 2015, but applicable on or after October 7, 2015, must be reported no later than December 5, 2015.
The IA make a distinction between contracts and orders to trade with regard to the question who has the greatest reporting responsibility. In respect of contracts, this responsibility lies with the contract parties. A contract party may outsource the reporting activity to the other party or to a third party, but always has to take 'reasonable measures' to verify whether the reporting party has filed a complete, accurate and timely report. What a 'reasonable measure' is, remains unclear. With respect to orders to trade, the IA say that this information cannot be easily stored by the market parties themselves because of the large quantity of data, among other things. That is why reports will be filed by the organized market where the orders are placed or through third parties which are able to provide and store these data. Finally, verbal orders to trade which were not placed on a screen only have to be reported at the request of ACER (Agency for Energy Regulators).
Transaction information non-standard deals
The IA determine that market parties must report non-standard contracts (bilateral contracts) from April 7, 2016. From that date, this means that contracts concluded on day x have to be reported no later than one month after the conclusion, modification or termination of the contract. As with standard contracts, non-standard contracts that were concluded before April 7, 2016, but that were applicable on or after that date, have to be reported within 90 days of April 7, 2016, at the latest. One difference compared to standard contracts is that market parties are allowed to report non-standard contracts themselves. However, the reporting obligation can be transferred to the other contract party or a third party.
In fact, not all bilateral contracts have to be reported. The IA indicate that only contracts concluded for end users with a minimum total of consumption units and technical consumption capacity of 600 GWh/year have to be reported, which equals 61 million m3/year. ACER is of the opinion that consumption units that fall under this threshold form no risk with regard to market manipulation. What is important is that contracts meant for a party with factories which separately fall under the 600 GWh/year threshold, but together go over the 600 GWh/year threshold, fall within the reporting obligation if these factories are in markets with interlinked market rates, even if the contracts are smaller than 600 GWh/year. A seller will usually not know what the technical consumption capacity of the buying party is. The buying party will have to supply this information if requested. If during the year, the technical consumption capacity exceeds the threshold of 600 GWh/year, the buying party will have to make this known to the seller, so that both parties can comply with the REMIT reporting obligation. In the guidance, developed by ACER to clarify the REMIT regulation, the 600 GWh/year threshold is explained.
How to report?
There is still much uncertainty on the reporting of non-standard contracts. ACER has developed a format with tables, for standard and non-standard contracts for instance, which must be used for the report. Because non-standard contracts are often tailor-made contracts, it can be difficult to determine how each input field in the table has to be filled in. ACER tries to answer these types of questions in the TRUM (Transaction Reporting User Manual). This manual also gives examples of how to fill in the tables and how certain articles from the IA can be interpreted.
Other reporting obligations
Contracts on primary capacity allocation do not need to be reported by market parties; the responsibility for these contracts lies with the TSOs (Transmission System Operator). From April 7, 2016, however, market parties are responsible for the reporting of (their own) secondary traded transport capacity. ACER has developed a separate table for these contracts.
Finally, the regulation contains stipulations for the reporting of so-called fundamental data. This requires daily reporting of information concerning the degree of filling and the use of storage facilities or LNG installations. This reporting obligation lies with the LNG system operators and storage system operators.
Registering as a market party with the ACM
If a market party has the obligation to report, this party must register with the national regulator in the country where the market party is established. In the Netherlands, this is the ACM (Autoriteit Consument en Markt). If a market party is not located in an EU country (eg. Switzerland), the market party selects a country in which it operates and registers with the relevant national regulator. The IA came into force on January 7, 2015. The REMIT regulation determines that the national regulators have to open registration for market parties within three months after the IA coming into force.
The ACM has announced to open registration from the middle of March. Market parties that want to conclude or already have concluded a bilateral contract which, under REMIT, should be reported by April 7, 2016, should be registered as a market party by April 7, 2016, at the latest. A market party cannot conclude contracts without advance and approved registration by the ACM. Non-compliance is considered a breach of REMIT and is punishable by law! As the registration process takes some time and attention, the ACM advises market parties to start the registration process at least 6 months before the date on which they have to start reporting. More information about the registration requirement will be published on the ACM website shortly.
ACER has recently opened up a REMIT portal, where you can find all the important documents and further information.
 Has been defined as “a facility which receives electricity or gas for own use”.
 Can be found through https://www.acer-remit.eu/portal/acer-documents
 Can be found through https://www.acer-remit.eu/portal/acer-documents
 See https://www.acm.nl/nl/onderwerpen/energie/remit/registratieplicht-marktdeelnemers-remit/