Please note that a 12-month grace period has been announced for the application of the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) requirements in relation to annual financial reports.
These requirements will therefore apply to the annual financial reports for periods beginning on or after 1 January 2021, rather than 1 January 2020 as previously cited below. Please note that 2020 annual financial reports may still be filed in ESEF format on a voluntary basis.
The new ESEF will apply to annual financial reports for fiscal years beginning on or after 1 January 2020.
ESEF is a new format in which issuers, who are subject to the obligation to disclose their annual financial report in accordance with the Transparency Directive, must prepare their financial statements.
In 2013 the Transparency Directive, which defines rules concerning the harmonisation of transparency requirements of issuers, was amended to include, amongst others, a requirement for issuers to prepare their annual financial reports in a single electronic reporting format.
ESMA was mandated to develop regulatory technical standards to specify this electronic reporting format (ESEF RTS).
The ESEF RTS, published on 29 May 2019 in the form of a Commission Delegated Regulation, requires annual financial reports to be entirely prepared in XHTML, which is both human readable and machine readable, and which can be opened with any standard web browsers.
For detailed information and further guidance, including video tutorials and a reporting manual, please see ESMA’s ESEF webpage.
The use of ESEF now applies to annual financial reports created for the fiscal years starting from 1 January 2020 onwards.
Please note that 2020 annual financial reports in ESEF are on a voluntary basis.
Issuers whose securities are admitted to trading on any EEA regulated market and which are subject to the obligation to disclose their annual financial report under the Transparency Directive are concerned. Issuers listed on the LuxSE Regulated Market are, as such, within the remit of this new obligation to the extent the disclosure obligation applies to them.
Under the Transparency Directive, issuers are required to make regulated information available to the national officially appointed mechanism (OAM) for its central storage.
LuxSE is the OAM in Luxembourg.
To assist our clients with ongoing obligations in terms of OAM storage, filing documents with the financial sector regulator and disseminating information to the public, LuxSE offers a multi-functional reporting tool called FIRST – Financial Instruments Reporting Services Tool.
Due to the introduction of ESEF, if the information contains annual financial reports that qualify as regulated information and refers to a financial year starting from 1 January 2020 onwards, FIRST will allow for the submission of XHTML format files or a ZIP as defined by the XBRL specifications.
If your company produces IFRS consolidated financial statements, Inline XBRL technology should be embedded in the XHTML, allowing the financial information to be readable to the human eye while at the same time being structured and machine readable.
Please note that with respect to mandatory submissions of annual financial reports:
Should you have any questions or need assistance, please contact us at OAM@bourse.lu.
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