On 17 February 2007 Law no. 13/2007 was published in the Official Gazette. While the law contains a long list of provisions aimed at implementing European laws into national Italian law, a seemingly minor clause also eliminates the licence requirement for the trading in energy derivatives on own account.
Italian law generally reserves operations on Italian regulated markets to authorised banks or investment firms. This restriction, imposed by art. 25, paragraph 1, of legislative decree no. 58/2008 (the Italian Consolidated Finance Act), so far also applied to trading in energy derivative contracts. Art. 10 of law no. 13/2007 now introduces a specific exemption for energy derivatives by adding a new paragraph 1-bis to art. 25 of the Consolidated Finance Act, which provides that trading on own account on the regulated markets is also permitted to unauthorised operators if related to commodities or indices of the energy sector. The exemption is rather broad as it does not further define the ?energy sector?, so that any derivative contracts based on electricity, gas, oil, carbon or any other energy commodity should now be freely tradeable in regulated markets. As a consequence, energy companies will be able to conclude energy derivative contracts without the interposition of banks or financial intermediaries. And professional traders will have the possibility to sell both to producers and end consumers risk management instruments such as swaps, futures, financially settled forward contracts or options on regulated markets. The new provisions will enter into force on 5 March 2007.