On November 7, 2014, ESMA published a call for evidence to inform its preparation of: (i) an opinion on the functioning of the passport for EU alternative investment fund managers (“AIFMs”) and the national private placement regime for non-EU AIFMs; and (ii) advice on the application of the passport to non-EU AIFMs and alternative investment funds (“AIFs”). Both the opinion and the  advice are required to be provided by ESMA to the European Parliament, Council of the European Union and the European Commission by July 22, 2015 under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (“AIFMD”). Under the AIFMD, non-EU AIFMs and non-EU AIFs managed by EU AIFMs are subject to the national private placement regime in each Member State that an AIF is marketed or managed. If ESMA provides positive advice, the European Commission is obligated to adopt legislation extending the EU passport to non-EU AIFs and non- EU AIFMs. To provide positive advice, ESMA must be convinced that “no significant obstacles regarding investor protection, market disruption, competition and the monitoring of systemic risk” would hinder the extension of the passport. ESMA’s advice will distinguish between countries so that only funds or managers of non-EU countries that satisfy the criteria will benefit from the passport. The consultation closes on January 8, 2015.

The call for evidence is available at:

http://www.esma.europa.eu/news/ESMA-consults-AIFMD-passport-and-third-country-AIFMs?t=326&o=home.