How is the registration of market players carried out?

Market players are obliged to register with a national regulatory authority (NRA) before trading on wholesale energy markets according to Article 9 of REMIT.

Market players register with the NRA of the Member State in which they are established or resident. If they are neither established nor resident in the Union, they shall register with the Member State in which they carry out an activity. In Belgium, it is with the CREG that the players must register

On the basis of the registrations, the CREG establishes the national register of market players, which it will subsequently transmit to the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER). Once ACER has received all the national registers, it establishes a consolidated European register as recommended in the article.

What data must be provided by market players?

The market players have the obligation to provide ACER :

  • a record of wholesale energy market transactions, including orders;
  • information relating to the capacity and use of facilities for the production, storage, consumption or transmission of electricity or natural gas or information relating to the capacity and use of LNG facilities, including planned or unplanned unavailability of said facilities.

In order to avoid market participants having to provide the same information repeatedly, ACER shall collect the data and transmit them to the national regulatory authority and, where appropriate, to the competition authority and the financial regulatory authority. Nevertheless, the national regulatory authority may directly request other information not collected by ACER from market players.

In order to assist market players for the information gathering phase of the Implementing Regulation, ACER has published on the REMIT portal :

  • the list of organised marketplaces
  • RRM requirements
  • the data REMIT reporting procedures manual
  • The manual for transaction REMIT reporting (TRUM: Transaction reporting user manual).

What is the timeframe for reporting data by market participants?

The REMIT Implementing Regulation also sets a certain timeframe for the REMIT reporting of data by market participants:

Contract reporting on organised platforms and ENTSO platform fundamentals must be collected from the 9th month after the date of entry into force of the implementing act, i.e. from 7 October 2015.
reporting of the remaining contracts (standard OTC contracts and non-standard supply contracts as well as transport contracts) and other fundamental data must be collected from the 15th month after the date of entry into force of the implementing act, i.e. from 7 April 2016.

How do regulators work together under REMIT?

At the supranational level

European monitoring of the wholesale market to detect market abuse is entrusted to ACER through REMIT. ACER carries out this task in collaboration with national regulators including the CREG. In the event of detection by ACER of suspicious behaviour pointing to a certain abuse, ACER may ask the CREG to investigate alone or jointly with other regulators in the event of cross-border abuse.

At national level

The CREG continues to carry out its market surveillance mission in collaboration with the Belgian Competition Authority and the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA). In this respect, the legislator has authorised the exchange of confidential information between these institutions and the CREG and has adapted the provisions of the Gas and Electricity Acts relating to professional secrecy and the safeguarding of commercially sensitive information to this end.

Belgium has adapted its legislation so that the CREG has the necessary powers and instruments to enforce REMIT. The powers of investigation and sanction that the CREG has in the event of abuse of the REMIT regulations have been transcribed in a law of 8 May 2014 on various provisions relating to energy.

What does the CREG’s power to sanction consist of?

For the implementation of REMIT, a modification of the Belgian legislation is required. Among other things, the CREG’s powers of investigation and sanction will have to be strengthened. In its study of September 2012, the CREG gave an initial description of the adjustments to be made. In addition, the European Commission will also have to adopt a series of implementing measures.

With regard to investigative powers, the possibility for the CREG to request information from players in the sector in the exercise of its missions is extended for the exercise of its REMIT powers: it may, on the one hand, also address itself to any natural person and, on the other hand, summon and hear any person, assisted by its council, in the context of its investigation. The CREG members’ powers as judicial police officers, already recognised by legislation since 2008, have been extended to investigating and establishing offences against REMIT and the CREG has also been granted the power to request telephone recordings or even to carry out telephone tapping under the conditions set out in the Criminal Investigation Code.

The CREG’s judicial police officers are furthermore granted the power, subject to the authorisation of an investigating judge, to order by a reasoned decision the seizure of assets which are the property of a person under investigation based on REMIT and which either constitute the object of the offence under investigation, or have been used to commit the offence in question, or constitute a pecuniary advantage arising from that offence. Under the same conditions, the CREG’s judicial police officers may also impose a temporary ban on a natural or legal person from exercising a professional activity when there is a clear risk of infringement of the provisions of REMIT.

With regard to penalties, the provisions of the Gas and Electricity Acts relating to administrative fines now provide for the CREG to impose periodic penalty payments on a person who is guilty of an infringement of the REMIT provisions.

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