The Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR) provides for a new “open access” regime between trading venues and central counterparties (CCPs) whereby, subject to meeting certain enumerated conditions, a trading venue may request that a CCP clear trades executed on its platform, and a CCP may request that a trading venue route trades to it for clearing. The new open access framework contains several exemptions. For example, a trading venue that lists exchange-traded derivatives for trading may also file for a limited time, renewable exemption from the open access regime, provided that it trades less than an annual notional amount of €1million in the calendar year preceding entry into force of MiFIR. In addition, given that the European Commission (EC) has determined not to exclude exchange-traded derivatives from the open access regime, trading venues and CCPs are eligible to apply to their national regulator for one, non-renewable, 30-month transitional period from the open access regime.

However, neither MiFIR nor the relevant regulatory technical standards establish a timeframe or format for making these filings. On September 12, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) updated its questions and answers on market structures topics to provide additional guidance on these matters. In both cases, ESMA recommends that the relevant applications be filed before the end of September.

ESMA’s updated questions and answers on market structure topics is available here.