The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (“EIOPA”) published draft equivalence assessments relating to Bermuda, Japan and Switzerland on 17 August 2011.

The equivalence assessments seek to ensure that the supervisory regimes in Bermuda, Japan and Switzerland provide a similar level of protection to policyholders as the regime under Solvency II. Bermuda, Japan and Switzerland are the first wave of countries who are being considered for equivalence. Bermuda and Switzerland are being assessed for equivalence under articles 172, 227 and 260 of the Solvency II directive, whereas Japan is only being considered under article 172.

Market participants and interested parties are invited to provide responses, on the template provided by EIOPA, by 23 September 2011. EIOPA will then provide advice to the European Commission as to the extent to which Bermuda, Japan and Switzerland satisfy the criteria for assessing third country equivalence by the end of September 2011. The European Commission has committed to publishing its decisions on the equivalence of third countries by July 2012.

The draft equivalence assessments, and response templates, can be accessed here.