ESMA updates EMIR Q&A: ESMA has issued the thirteenth update to its Q&A document on the implementation of the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). This update relates to the second level of the EMIR validation specifications that Trade Repositories (TRs) use to ensure that reporting complies with EMIR. The validation controls are based on the original rules in the December 2012 EMIR technical standards and entered into force on 12 February 2014. ESMA says it expects TRs to be able to implement the second level validation by the end of October. (Source: ESMA Publishes Updated EMIR Q&A – Focus on Reporting)

ESMA consults on knowledge and competence guidelines: ESMA is consulting on draft guidelines relating to the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID 2) on criteria for assessing knowledge and competence of individuals in investment firms who provide investment advice or information about investments or services to clients. ESMA proposes tests based on "appropriate qualifications" and "appropriate experience" and lists the areas it thinks the assessments should relate to. ESMA suggests what areas the individuals should understand and wants national regulators to set the list of qualifications or criteria for assessing qualifications. It notes that some Member States already go further than the current MiFID requirements. Its new proposed guidelines cover organisational requirements for firms as well as specific requirements on relevant staff and the duty on firms to ensure they assess, maintain and update appropriate levels of knowledge and competence. Consultation closes on 10 July and ESMA plans to publish its final guidelines in the last quarter of 2015. (Source:ESMA Consults on Knowledge and Competence Guidelines)

ESMA recognises third country CCPs: ESMA has recognised 10 third-country central counterparties (CCPs) for the purposes of EMIR. (Source: ESMA Recognises Third Country CCPs)