Earlier this week, the European Commission formally confirmed that the sustainable finance disclosure regulation (SFDR) level 2 measures drafted by their Supervisory Authorities would be delayed until 31 December 2022.
In the meantime, a reminder that SFDR financial market participants (including UCITS and AIFMD firms) remain obliged by the separate Taxonomy Regulation (TR) to submit pre-contractual documentation to their local regulators ahead of 1 January 2022.
This pending deadline refers to the legal application of the first two TR environmental objectives: climate change mitigation and climate change adaption. As specified in the original June 2020 TR legislation, fund firms must update / submit their respective UCITS prospectus or AIFM art. 23(1) information relating to:
- TR article 5: transparency required in relation to environmentally sustainable investments (including those considered as SFDR article 9 products)
- TR article 6: requiring transparency of environmental characteristics promotion (including those considered as SFDR article 8 products)
- TR article 7: requiring transparency of other products that do not consider environmentally sustainable economic activities (including those classed as SFDR article 8 products)
Some national competent authorities have now communicated regulatory “fast-tracking” available for firms who have not formally submitted their documents.
Yesterday, the CSSF in Luxembourg announced a fast-tracking procedure available until 17 December 2021 (close of business):
- UCITS: firms must submit their revised UCITS prospectus accompanied by a confirmation letter, after which the CSSF will “endeavour to release the visa stamp prior to the year-end”.
- AIFMs: firms must submit their revised AIF issuing document via email address (no confirmation letter required).
Page 3 of the CSSF letter template contains interim guidance in relation to information and descriptions they expect to be included in the prospectus (i.e. depending on the environmental objectives currently applicable to their funds).
NB: Despite the recent deferral of the SFDR level 2 RTS until 1 January 2023, the CSSF advise that fund firms should adhere to the ESA’s latest pre-contractual and periodic product disclosure templates (Annexes I-IV) “as far as possible and on a best effort basis during the transitional period”.
The CSSF notice follows the Central Bank of Ireland’s recent announcement of their similar fast-track filing process, available via dedicated mailbox until COB, 14 December 2021. However, on an exceptional basis, the CBI state they “may permit an extension to the proposed deadline where a reasonable rationale explaining why such an extension is necessary for the specific fund can be provided”.