On February 10, the European Commission published a press release announcing it is proposing a one year extension to the application date of the MiFID II legislative package (that is, the MiFID II Directive (2014/65/EU) and the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (Regulation 600/2014) (MiFIR).

To implement its proposal, the Commission has published:

  • A legislative proposal for a Directive amending the MiFID II Directive as regards certain dates.
  • A legislative proposal for a Regulation amending MiFIR, the Market Abuse Regulation (Regulation 596/2014) (MAR) and the Regulation on improving securities settlement and regulating central securities depositories (CSDs) (Regulation 909/2014) (CSDR) as regards certain dates.

Member states must transpose the MiFID II Directive by July 3, 2016. Both the MiFID II Directive and MiFIR are scheduled to apply from January 3, 2017. Under the Commission’s proposal, national competent authorities (NCAs) and market participants will have an additional year to comply with MiFID II. The proposed new application date is January 3, 2018.

The Commission is proposing the application date extension as a result of the complex technical data infrastructure that needs to be established so that MiFID II can operate effectively. As a result of significant challenges in collecting the data that is needed, ESMA informed the Commission in October 2015 that neither NCAs nor market participants will have the necessary systems ready by January 3, 2017. As a result, ESMA has concluded that a delay is unavoidable.

In the light of these exceptional circumstances, and to avoid legal uncertainty and potential market disruption, the Commission considers an extension of the MiFID II application date is necessary.