On 14 February 2018, the Council of the EU announced in a press release that the transposition deadline and application date of the Insurance Distribution Directive ((EU) 2016/97) (IDD) will be delayed.

The original transposition deadline (i.e. the deadline for Member States to pass legal measures to transpose the IDD into national law) and application date (i.e. the date from which firms would need to comply with the IDD) were 23 February 2018; the transposition deadline has now been delayed to 1 July 2018 and the application date has been delayed to 1 October 2018.

The announcement follows a legislative proposal for a directive (COM(2017) 792/2) to amend the IDD application and transposition dates (Amending Directive). The European Parliament indicated that the Amending Directive would be discussed by the European Parliament during its plenary session of 28 February to 1 March 2018. The Amending Directive needs to be formally adopted by the Council and the European Parliament and will then enter into force on the day of its publication in the Official Journal of the EU. As it is not possible for the Amending Directive to be adopted prior to the original application and transposition date (23 February 2018), the Council of the EU has stated that the delay of the transposition and application dates will apply retroactively from 23 February 2018.

The Council of the EU stated in its press release that the delay will enable the insurance industry “to better prepare for the directive and for the changes necessary to comply with implementing rules”.

The IDD replaces the current Insurance Mediation Directive and seeks to strengthen policyholder protection, establish a fairer playing field for distributors of insurance products, and facilitate cross-border trade and market integration.

The Council of the EU’s press release can be found here.