Further to its recent work in considering potential jurisdictions in the first wave of Solvency II equivalence assessments, CEIOPS has recently published a proposed methodology for carrying out these assessments and has asked for comments on its proposals by 22 October 2010.

The proposed methodology concentrates on the procedural aspects of an assessment. This is because the level 2 implementing measures on the general criteria to be used for equivalence assessments is unlikely to be published before the end of 2010. However, CEIOPS has used its previous advice to the European Commission on the criteria to be utilised in assessments to develop the questionnaires for completion by the third country supervisors as part of the assessment process.

The Consultation Paper sets out a proposed 42 week timetable for equivalence assessments and suggests that some of the overarching principles are:

  • Equivalence assessments should aim to determine whether the third country supervisory system provides a similar level of policyholder/ beneficiary protection;
  • Equivalence is a flexible process based on principles and objectives;
  • Equivalence incorporates the proportionality principle;
  • An equivalence judgement can only be made in respect of the regime in existence and applied by a third country supervisory authority at the time of the assessment;
  • Equivalence assessments will be kept under review.

The consultation paper can be found here.