Registration of market participants under REMIT
- Category: REMIT
In this context it is understandable that, according to ACER's REMIT Quaterly (Q4 2015), as of December 2015 more than 4500 market participants have been registered in the European Register of Energy Market Participants (nearly 1,000 in 2020 - REMIT Quarterly Q1/2021).
The only market participants beyond the scope of this requirement are those that solely engage in contracts for physical delivery of electricity or gas produced by a single production unit under a size 10 MW for electricity and 20 MW for gas (Article 4(2) of the Commission Implementing Regulation No 1348/2014 of 17 December 2014 on data reporting implementing Article 8(2) and Article 8(6) of Regulatio (EU) No 1227/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council on wholesale energy market integrity and transparency (OJ L 363, 18.12.2014, p. 121 - 'REMIT Implementing Regulation')).
Since there are extensive regulatory clarifications regarding the precise interpretation of the term "market participant" in the REMIT sense, that fact, inevitably, influencing the boundaries of the REMIT registration requirement, that point is commented upon separately in a broader extent in The notion of "market participant" under REMIT Regulation.
If the market participant is active in the energy trading on a cross-border basis and has doubts where to register, there are five key rules in place:
1. market participants always register with the EU Member State national regulatory authority (NRA) and not the European energy regulator (Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regilators - ACER),
2. market participants need to register with the NRA of the Member State in which they were established or are resident,
3. if a market participant is not established or resident in an EU Member State, they need to register in a Member State in which they are active,
4. any market participant that is not established or resident in the European Union and that is active in several Member States can choose which Member State to register in,
5. if most of its activity is in the given EU Member State, it should register with this Member State.
According to Article 9(4) of REMIT "[m]arket participants shall submit the registration form to the NRA prior to entering into a transaction which is required to be reported to the Agency in accordance with Article 8(1)."
- market participants must submit a registration form to the national regulatory authority prior to entering into a transaction that is required to be reported to ACER,
- REMIT states that national regulatory authorities must have a system for registration in place no later than three months after the REMIT implementing acts are adopted.
- transaction reporting will commence six months after the implementing acts are adopted,
- the procedure for adoption of the implementing acts includes the comitology process (negotiations between Member States and the European Commission);
the start date for transaction reporting was initially estimated October 2015.
The precise timelines have been set by Article 12(2) of the Implementing Regulation No 1348/2014, which stipulates the reporting obligation applies to market participants from 7 October 2015 and from 7 April 2016, according to the type of data to be reported to the ACER.
For market participants entering into transactions on an Organised Market Place (OMP), the registration obligation took effect, at the latest, prior to 7 October 2015.
For all other market participants, the registration obligation takes effect, at the latest, prior to 7 April 2016 or prior to the first day they enter into transactions which are required to be reported to the Agency.
Consequently, the ACER clearly mandated that any person who enters into a transaction which is required to be reported to the Agency from 7 October 2015 or 7 April 2016 without having submitted the registration form to the relevant national regulatory authority is in breach of Article 9 of REMIT (Guidance on the application of Regulation (EU) No 1227/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on wholesale energy market integrity and transparency, 3rd Edition Updated 3 June 2015, p. 22).
Furthermore, the ACER points out that in line with Article 9(5) of REMIT, market participants are obliged to communicate promptly to the relevant NRA any change as regards the information provided in their registration form.
Scope for data to be registered
ACER Decision No 01/2012 relating to the Registration Format pursuant to Article 9(3) of Regulatlon (EU) No 1227/201 has stipulated five key sections market participants are required to fill when submitting their registrations:
- Section 1: data about the market participant,
- Section 2: data about natural persons linked to the market participant,
- Section 3: data about the ultimate controller of the market participant,
- Section 4: data about the corporate structure of the market participant,
- Section 5: data about the delegated parties for reporting on behalf of the market participant.
See also the Appendix 1 to the said Decision for a complete list of the data to report in each section.
It is noteworthy that the required data to report contain, among others, the indication of the URL of the market participants' home page website as well as places under which market participants publish their inside information.
This data, if aggregated and widely disclosed, would, presumably, contribute to the EU Internal Electricity Market's transparency.
In accordance with the said ACER Decision No 01/12, the registration process is split into two phases for market participants registering before ACER has published the list of market participants in the European register.
Example 1: Market participant (MP) A registered before 17 March 2015 MP A registered before 17 March 2015 and it was required to complete Sections 1, 2, 3 and 5 of the registration form before submission.
Section 4 of the registration form (Data related to corporate structure of the MP) was not filled by the MP A at the time of the first submission as the publication of the European register of MPs occurred for the first time on 17 March 2015.
After 17 March 2015, MP A has three months (until 17 June 2015) to fill Section 4 of the registration form with the data available at the European register (so that Section 4 contains all data on MP A related undertaking(s) which are registered MPs) at the time of section's 4 submission for the first time.
In case MP B (a related undertaking to the MP A) only registers after 17 June 2015, MP A will also be obliged to update data in Section 4 accordingly, once MP B registration is published at the European register of MPs.
In addition to the updates of Section 4 of the registration form, MP A has an obligation to promptly update any other information provided in its registration form (this obligation is defined in Article 9(5) of REMIT) at any time once that change takes effect (e.g.: if MP A chooses a new RRM, Section 5 of the registration form needs to be updated accordingly).
Example 2: MP C registered after 17 March 2015 If MP C has registered after 17 March 2015, it is obliged to complete all Sections (1 to 5) of the registration form with updated data at the time of submission of the registration form.
In Section 4 of the registration form (Data related to corporate structure of the MP), MP C is required to include all its related undertaking(s) which are registered MPs i.e. all those that are published in the European register of MPs at the time of the form submission.
If MP D (a related undertaking to the MP C) registers with the relevant NRA at a later stage, MP C is also required to promptly update its registration form accordingly once MP D registration is published at the European register of MPs.
In addition to the update of Section 4 of the registration form, MP A has an obligation to promptly update any other information provided in its registration form (this obligation is defined in Article 9(5) of REMIT) at any time once that change takes effect (e.g.: if MP A chooses a new RRM, Section 5 of the registration form needs to be updated accordingly).
Source: Guidance on the application of Regulation (EU) No 1227/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on wholesale energy market integrity and transparency - updated 3rd Edition
In the Phase 1 market participants were required to provide information on:
Section 1: market participant information,
Section 2: natural persons information,
Section 3: ultimate controller information,
Section 5: delegated parties information.
In the Phase 2, when ACER has published the list of market participants, market participants can complete Section 4: corporate structure information.
Market participants who have registered before 17 March 2015 (before the Agency published for the first time the list of market participants in the European register) have not been able to complete Section 4 (data related to the corporate structure of the market participant) of the registration form by the time of its submission to the NRA.
In accordance with ACER's Decision No 01/2012, they must provide information on Section 4 of the registration form within 3 months from the first publication of the European register.
Therefore, they were required to update their registration form in Section 4 at the latest by 17 June 2015.
Any market participant that decides to start the registration process after ACER first publishes the European register will need to submit information for all five sections.
This is likely to new market participants not currently trading products that need to be reported to ACER.
Market participants must ensure their registration information is kept up to date.
It is mandatory for market participants to initiate the Registered Reporting Mechanism (RRM) registration process as part of market participant registration under Article 9 of REMIT, however there are some nuances (for details see: RRM (Registered Reporting Mechanism).
The system designed for the registration process (as well as any changes to previous submissions) is CEREMP.
To be precise, National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) may use different systems to register market participants (not only CEREMP), however, if a person not being a market participant intends to fulfill the function of the RRM, it registers directly with ACER with the mandatory use of CEREMP.
The ACER Registration Code will also be assigned.
Corporate structure of market participants
The contentious issue was whether the European register should contain information on the corporate structure of market participants, in particular concerning their relation with other registered market participants.
Eventually, the decision has been adopted on the publication by the ACER of the list of the market participants recorded in the European register in order to allow the public identification of registered related undertakings.
However, in order to enable technically the fulfillment of the obligation, the information on related undertakings is provided only after the Agency has published for the first time the list of market participants recorded in the European registry.
For registration applications before the publication of the first list of registered market participants, the information on the corporate structure has to be completed within 3 months from the first publication of the list of registered market participants.
Registrants will have to specify the type of relationship between the market participant and the related undertakings taking use of the relevant definitions laid down in Articles 1 and 2 of the Council Directive 83/349/EEC of 13 June 1983 for:
- parent undertaking,
- subsidiary (controlled undertaking),
- other related undertaking having "unitary direction".
As was said above, market participants entering into transactions which are required to be reported to the Agency under REMIT must register with the national energy regulatory authority (NRA) in the country in which they are established or active. It is underlined that a market participant should register only with one NRA, while Member States are not allowed to require a market participant already registered in another Member State to register again.
This registration model has some drawbacks when it comes to company groupings.
As industry (EFET) indicated, larger corporate groups have several and separate legal entities, which are active on energy markets and, therefore, are all potentially market participants with the duty to register with the relevant national regulatory authorities (e.g. one group trading company established in Germany registers with the BNetzA, another group supply company established in the UK registers with Ofgem, the next Hungarian group transportation company with its local national regulatory authorities, etc.).
If this holds true under REMIT, then each single, separate group company has to register through a separate own process with its local NRA. This would lead to a multiplication of registrations and a complicated coordination process within corporate groups.
It was also argued that if several and separate registration processes for each group company were necessary, then at least each group company should not be forced to supply certain information to each of their NRA through a separate process which could be better provided for all group companies at once and updated subsequently.
This holds true in particular for the required description of the corporate structures and corporate relationships within a corporate group for which the corporates usually have an overview at the holding level of a corporate group.
At least it should be allowed that the same set of information is sent to each of the NRAs to avoid that each single entity has to create its own registration profile.
It appears that the above concerns have been to some extent addressed in the CEREMP mechanics.
There has been envisioned a confirmations system for the corporate relationship where one party only has to report a parent-subsidiary relationship, and the other merely has to confirm it. The system automatically adds the inverse relationship - a smart design, which can be helpful to avoid inconsistencies.
Ultimate controllers' registration
Every entity registering with CEREMP for REMIT purposes has to to provide details for market participant's ultimate controller (Section 3).
As REMIT registration manual explains ultimate controller information relates to any legal or natural person that exercises significant influence over the management of the market participant through a controlling interest or voting power in that market participant or its parent, irrespective of whether control is interposed directly or through a combination of other companies.
More specifically, an entity is regarded as a controller of a market participant when it:
- holds 10% or more of the shares in the market participant or its parent; or
- holds 10% or more of the voting power in the market participant or its parent; or
- is able to exercise significant influence over the management of the market participant through a controlling interesting in the market participant or its parent; or
- is able to exercise significant influence over the management of the market participant through their voting power in the market participant or its parent.
Moreover, an ultimate controller is an entity that fulfils the definition outlined above but is not itself a subsidiary or branch of any other entity.
REMIT registration manual clears potential ambiguities unequivocally stating an ultimate controller may be a natural or legal person, including also a municipal authority or sovereign state.
An ultimate controller of a REMIT market participant is not necessarily a market participant.
Pursuant to ACER's guidelines it is also possilble for market participant to have no ultimate controller in the REMIT sense.
In such a case the registering company itself forms its own ultimate controller and, consequently, should be inserted in the ultimate controller's field of the registration form.
The above opinion ACER expressed in response to the following question:
"In a consortium for the purchase of electricity and gas in the energy wholesale market, each associate member owns a share of less or equal to 0,93%. None of these members is:
i) able to exercise a significant influence over the management of the market participant through a controlling interest in the consortium or its parent undertaking;
ii) entitled to control or exercise control of 10% or more of the voting power in the market participant or its parent undertaking;
iii) able to exercise significant influence over the management of the market participant through their voting power in the market participant or its parent undertaking. Who is/are the beneficiary/ultimate controller(s)?
How to fill in the corresponding fields (compulsory) in the market participant registration form?".
The exact wording of the ACER's answer was:
"Please note that, where ownership of shares in a market participant is beneficially held by individuals who do not meet ultimate controller's criteria, it is unlikely that the market participant will have an ultimate controller and therefore the company itself will be its own ultimate controller and shall be inserted as ultimate controller."
REMIT registration practicalities
REMIT registration process starts with registering as a user of the CEREMP system. Then a User ID is granted that allows to log into the online database. After this the user is able to register market participants.
Every registering market participant is required to provide details for each of the three positions in the market participant's organisation:
- Contact for REMIT communications,
- Person responsible for trading decisions [not individual traders],
- Person responsible for operational decisions.
As regards the person responsible for operational decisions the Ofgem registration manual explains with respect to market participants with physical assets, this should be the person who is responsible for decisions relating to the running of these assets.
Here are some Ofgem's Q&As for REMIT registration procedure (see Ofgem REMIT website):
I'm a large energy customer. Do I need to register?
As a general rule, if you buy electricity or natural gas for your own use you don't need to register. However, certain circumstances may require you to register. The REMIT implementing acts state that contracts for the supply of electricity or natural gas to a single consumption unit with a technical capability to consume 600GWH/year or more shall be reported to ACER. So if you enter into a contract for your own use at a single "consumption unit" that is technically capable of consuming 600GWh or more a year, you should register as a market participant. A consumption unit is "a resource which receives electricity or natural gas for its own use" according to the REMIT implementing acts. Technical capability to consume means that amount of electricity or gas (ie not combined) that the consumption unit could use if it was run fully through the year.
Can I register just one company on behalf of all companies in our group?
No. If more than one company within a group enters into relevant transactions, each company that does so is required to register.
Can I register more than one company?
Yes. A person can register more than one company as a market participant. For example, it may be that a single person within a multi-company group takes responsibility for registering all the GB companies within that group with Ofgem. However, a single user account cannot be used to register different companies with different NRAs. For example, you would need to set up one CEREMP User account to register GB market participants with Ofgem and another to register French market participants with the French national regulatory authority.
Can more than one person have access to edit a single market participant's registration information?
Yes. Multiple users can be associated with a single market participant. This may be useful if you want to have more than one person within your company that has the ability to access and edit the company's registration information.
Do I need to register facilities?
There's no need to register power stations, gas storage or other types of facilities. Registration focuses on the market participants that enter into wholesale energy trades.
To become a Registered Reporting Mechanism (RRM), the ACER has set up two distinct processes for potential applicants being either (i) market participant RRM or (ii) third-party RRM.
The major difference between market participant and third-party RRM registration lies in the fact that the first step of the Identification stage is handled via a separate path.
A. If applicants who are not market participants wish to establish themselves as RRMs, then they shall perform a third-party registration via the RRM Registration module that ACER has made available on the REMIT Portal.
The registration is initiated through: https://www.acer-remit.eu/ceredp/home where the RRM Applicant will have to complete the first identification step and submits it for ACER's approval.
B. Market participants shall first proceed with a market participant's registration through their respective NRA. In the majority of cases, this is done via CEREMP. In certain cases this is done via other systems the NRAs have established to manage their market participants registrations under Article 9 of REMIT.
At the last step of the market participants registration, the market participants have the option to either select to which RRM they delegate the responsibility of reporting on their behalf, or to indicate their 'Intention to become a Reporting Entity' (for self-reporting purposes and/or to offer reporting services to others), or both.
In the case of CEREMP, this is done in Section 5 of the registration process. As soon as the NRA approves this first Identification step in CEREMP, the market participants who have indicated their intention to become RRMs will receive an invitation to proceed to the 2nd step of the Identification stage. From that point onwards all steps for the registration process are similar for all RRM applicants (market participants and third-parties).
ACER has depicted this with a diagram:
(Source: ACER Q&As, REMIT Portal)
The Agency declares, a proportionate treatment of the different categories of reporting parties throughout the registration process will be ensured. This is especially the case for the attestation stage during which all reporting entities wishing to become RRMs must submit documentation describing the procedures aimed at ensuring the timely transmission of data and their business continuity plan.
Moreover, when assessing compliance with these requirements, market participant RRM applicants are relieved from providing certain documents as specified in Section 5 of the RRM Requirements document.
More information on the RRM registration process can be found here:
Bank Identifier Code (BIC) and VAT numbers
The industry (EFET) has questioned the need for the Bank Identifier Code (BIC) of the market participant to be published in the REMIT register, however, the final text of ACER's decision has not eased these concerns. Moreover, VAT numbers regarding not only market participants, but also their related undertakings will also be included in the European REMIT register.
In case of a market participant which is not established in Europe (for example in the USA) and which does not have the VAT number, the market participant should insert in the field "VAT number" of the registration form the equivalent of the VAT number (the clarification from the ACER's Q&As).
In case the market participant does not have the VAT's equivalent number, ACER requires ''XXXXXXXXXX'' (10 times X) to be filled in the respective field of the registration form.
Market participants are responsible for submitting accurate, timely information. If they don't register in time, or if there is false, inaccurate or out-dated information on CEREMP once transaction reporting begins, this means breaches of Article 9 of REMIT, which could lead to enforcement action.
In the second quarter of 2018, after repeated unsuccessful attempts to ensure the compliance of some market participants and third parties acting on their behalf, the National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) started sanctioning the non-compliant entities.
In April 2018, the Spanish NRA (CNMC) fined five companies a total of EUR 10,200 for a breach of their obligation to register as market participants:
- Aboutwhite S.L. – EUR 1,800;
- Asal de Energía S.L. – EUR 1,800;
- Elèctrica Vaquer Energia S.A.U. – EUR 1,800;
- Empresa Municipal de Dis- tribució d’Energia Elèctrica de Ponts S.L.U. – EUR 3,000;
- Alpapat S.L. – EUR 1,800
The amount of fines incorporated two reductions of 20% (for an overall reduction of 40%), as all market participants accepted their responsibility for the breach and paid the fines (REMIT Quarterly Issue No. 14 / Q3 2018).
ACER's Q&As on REMIT
I am no longer a REMIT market participant with a reporting obligation and will not enter into any further wholesale energY transactions pursuant to REMIT. Can I de-register from the National Register of market participants?
Should a market participant no longer enter into reportable transactions and should its reporting obligations pursuant to REMIT and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1348/2014 have been completely fulfilled (i.e. its contracts have been delivered and are no longer valid), the market participant can request the relevant NRA to delete its registration from the National Register of market participants.
De-registration from the REMIT register of market participants
On 16 February 2016 the possibility for de-registration from the REMIT register of market participants has been explicitly addressed by ACER in Q&As on REMIT.
It follows that when a market participant no longer enters into reportable transactions and its contracts have been delivered and are no longer valid, the market participant can request the relevant National Regulatory Authority to delete its registration from the National Register of market participants (see box).
Scope for public availability of information included in the European Register
In the separate consultation process ACER has proposed the publicly available extracts of the European Register should include following data:
1) Market Participant: Full name of the market participant (either company name if legal person or full name if natural person) (Field 101, Section 1);
2) ACER Code: unique identifier for registration purposes (Field 121, Section 1);
3) State: Member State or Country where the market participant is resident (Field 107, Section 1);
4) NRA: NRA which processes the registration (Field 111, Section 1);
5) Website: URL of the home page of the website of the market participant (Field 119, Section 1);
6) Publication Inside Information: Place of publication of insider information, if different from the website of the market participant (Field 120, Section 1);
7) Date of validity: Date of validity of the information collected in Section 1 (Field 123, Section 1).
It is important to note that without a publicly available list of fields 101 and 121 ('Market Participant' and 'ACER CODE'), a market participant intending to register will not be able to provide the information in Section 4 of the registration format (data related to the corporate structure of the market participants; i.e. Fields 401 and 402).
Potential modifications of the market participants' registration framework under REMIT
In the document Functioning and Usefulness of the European Register of Market Participants, ACER's Public Consultation Paper PC_2016_R_01, 18 March 2016 (p. 7 - 9) ACER proposes to consider the following modifications of the market participants' registration framework under REMIT:
1. Regarding fields 112 and 316 ('VAT number' of the market participant and ultimate controller), taking into consideration that some market participants and ultimate controllers do not have a VAT number, ACER proposes to add an additional checkbox labelled: 'I do not have a VAT number'.
Moreover, taking into account that different formats for VAT identification apply outside the European Union, ACER proposes to adopt a more flexible format for fields 112 and 316 for non-EU market participants.
2. ACER proposes the reformulation of as well as adding some mandatory fields to the field 113 (Energy Identification Code ('EIC') of the market participant). ACER argues that:
a. EIC codes are widely used for reporting transaction and fundamental data.
The current registration format allows only one EIC code to be provided by a market participant, although there may be several different types of EIC codes related to the same market participant and used for reporting.
Moreover, although the EIC codes are publicly available, other pieces of information, such as the location of the facility identified by the EIC code, are not public.
Taking into consideration the need to identify for monitoring purposes to which market participants different EIC codes belong to, the current registration format can be developed to allow the introduction as mandatory fields of all EIC codes (i.e.: EIC X, EIC Y, EIC Z, EIC T, EIC W and EIC A) related to the same market participant.
b. In case the introduction of all EIC codes used for reporting by a market participants is allowed by the European register, the Registration Format could be expanded to:
- identify the name of the object to which the EIC code relates (e.g.: name of the power plant),
- identify the address of the object to which the EIC code relates (e.g. location of a power plant identified by X EIC code),
- identify the country where the market participant or the object is physically registered (e.g. in case of Y, T EIC codes, all countries which lie in the area of the Y, T EIC code,
- identify the market participant's role/relationship with the submitted EIC codes in order to differentiate situations where one code is used by more than one market participant.
ACER has identified the following relevant roles: (i) Proprietor/owner of the object to which the entered EIC code relates, (ii) Operator of the object to which the EIC code relates (iii) Other role which has information about the object to which EIC code relates.
3. Field 116 (Global Location Number of the market participant - 'GS1' in the coding scheme) is rarely used by market participants.
ACER proposes the removal of this field from the European Register.
4. Field 118 ('Trade Register') was requested by some EU Member States' National Regulatory Authorities.
5. The Implementing Regulation lays down the provision to include Trader IDs in transaction reports (field 3 of Table 1 in the Annex to the Implementing Regulation).
The Trader ID is the login username or trading account of the trader and/or the market participant or counterparty as specified by the technical system of the organised market place.
The field 'Trader IDs' may be added to the European Register as part of the market participant's registration information to make it easier to link different trader IDs to one specific market participant for market monitoring purposes.
6. Field 120 ('Publication Inside Information') is currently filled by many market participants with a general link (for example, a link to the company's main webpage) and not with the exact location where the inside information publications are published.
- to refine its definition so that it is clearly stated that the URL indicates the exact address where the inside information is disclosed publicly and,
- to create a new field indicating the location of the web-feed used for reporting the publications of inside information to ACER.
7. Traceability of relevant changes in the registration records under the ACER code
Regarding field 121 ('ACER code'), taking into consideration the need to ensure the traceability of relevant changes in the registration records two new fields could be added to the Registration Format:
- one indicating previously used ACER codes;
- another identifying the relationship with the previous codes.
The identification of the relationship between ACER codes could be provided by selecting the following types:
- same person previously registered in another Member State;
- incorporation of a registered market participant;
- spin-off from a registered market participant;
8. Section 4 ('Corporate Structure' of the market participant) does not currently provide full transparency on the corporate structure of the market participant.
It has been proposed that every market participant registered indicates the VAT number, name, and percentage of ownership of all companies belonging to the same group of the market participant (including company(ies) that are not market participants) as this would increase transparency from a market surveillance perspective.
9. Adding some additional free text fields in Section 3 to 5
In order to avoid the misinterpretation of the information inserted by a market participant, ACER suggests including some additional free text fields to allow a better description of the particular situation of the market participant, regarding:
- the main activity of the market participant;
- how the ultimate controller performs such control;
- information about the existing/envisaged data reporting agreements.