When will the ESEF reporting format be mandatory and who will be affected?
Issuers whose securities are listed on a regulated market in the EU will be obligated to use the ESEF, within the framework of the Transparency Directive 2013/50 EU of the European Parliament. For financial years commencing as from 1 January 2020, issuers will be required to make their annual financial reports (e.g. HGB [Commercial Code] annual financial statements, IFRS consolidated financial statements) available to the public in the official format (XHTML) required by ESMA (European Securities and Markets Authority) via the Officially Appointed Mechanism (OAM), in Germany the Company Register.
On 18 June 2020, the German Bundestag passed the law for further implementation of the Transparency Directive Amendment Directive with regard to a uniform electronic format for annual financial reports (ESEF) according to which annual financial statements must be submitted to the Bundesanzeiger in ESEF reporting format. As a result, issuers will in future be required to prepare all their annual financial reports in XHTML format. If this requirement is not met, a fine may be imposed by BaFin [German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority].
What is the objective of the ESEF reporting format?
In accordance with the Transparency Directive 2013/50 EU, the objective is to simplify reporting for the benefit of issuers, investors and competent authorities and to facilitate the accessibility, analysis and comparability of annual financial reports.
What do I need to consider when preparing annual financial reports in the ESEF reporting format?
What must I consider when submitting my documents?
Issuers not subject to disclosure under commercial law, may submit their annual financial reports directly to the Company Register, in ESEF reporting format.