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What is REMIT

On December 28, 2011 EU Regulation no. 1227/2011 on wholesale energy markets integrity and transparency - REMIT (Regulation on Wholesale Energy Market Integrity and Transparency), entered into force for all member States of the European Union. In Italy it was implemented with law n. 161/2014of 30 October 2014.

The REMIT Regulation aims to promote an open and fair competition on wholesale energy markets for the benefit of final consumers. As stated in the first Recital "èit is important to ensure that consumers and other market participants can have confidence in the integrity of the electricity and gas markets, that prices set on wholesale energy markets reflect a fair and competitive interplay between supply and demand, and that no profits can be drawn from market abuse".

This is why REMIT establishes rules shared at European level for the integrity and transparency of wholesale energy markets to prevent abusive practices.

In particular, it introduces specific rules to:

  • define abusive practices, regarding manipulation (or attempted manipulation) of the market and insider trading;
  • identify and hinder cases of manipulation (or attempted manipulation) of the market and insider trading through a monitoring system of the European energy markets;
  • prohibit abusive practices in wholesale energy markets (electricity and natural gas);
  • require market participants to publish "inside information" in their possession;
  • adopt the appropriate verification and control measures, providing the national regulatory authorities with specific powers of investigation, enforcement and sanction.

It also requires (Article 15) that "persons professionally arranging transactions" (such as energy exchanges and brokerage platforms) report suspicious transactions to the National Regulatory Authority (in Italy, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, Networks and the Environment - ARERA).

The REMIT rules intersect with rules for financial markets when wholesale energy products are also financial instruments.

The implementation of REMIT is entrusted to the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators - ACER and national regulatory authorities in cooperation with each other and with other national and European authorities for financial regulation and competition law.

Who REMIT applies to

REMIT applies first and foremost to market participants, i.e. any natural or legal person who carries out transactions on wholesale energy markets. "Wholesale energy market" means "any market within the Union on which wholesale energy products are traded".

Wholesale energy products relevant under REMIT are supply and transport contracts for electricity and natural gas and related derivative contracts, traded or delivered within the European Union. REMIT does not apply to supply and distribution contracts with final customers, with the exception of final consumers whose consumption capacity exceeds 600 GWh per year.

The prohibitions on market manipulation and insider trading provided for in articles 3 and 5 of REMIT do not apply to wholesale energy products that are financial instruments subject to the relative financial regulation (EU Regulation No. 596/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 on market abuse). However, for energy products that are financial instruments, the obligation to publish inside information referred to in article 4 of REMIT remains applicable.

To facilitate consistent and uniform application of REMIT Regulation provisions, ACER publishes non-binding guidelines (ACER Guidance on the application of REMIT), without prejudice to the competence of the Court of Justice in interpreting European law.

Obligations and prohibitions

Registration obligation

Article 9 of REMIT provides that market participants who conclude transactions that must be reported to ACER under Article 8 (1) of REMIT, must register with the national regulatory authority of the Member State in which they are established or are resident or, if they are not established or resident in the European Union, in a Member State where they carry out their activities.

The Authority has developed the National Register of Market Participants pursuant to Resolution 5 March 2015, 86/2015/E/com.

Companies already in the Operator Database may access the REMIT Register using the same credentials as for the Operator Database. Companies without clearance must first obtain clearance for the Operator Database.

Obligation to publish inside information

REMIT Regulation Article 2, defines inside information as "information that has a precise character, which has not been made public, which relates, directly or indirectly, to one or more wholesale energy products and which, if it were made public, would be likely to significantly affect the prices of those wholesale energy products".

Article 2 (1) (b) of REMIT establishes, in particular, what is meant by "information":

"information relating to the capacity and use of facilities for production, storage, consumption or transmission of electricity or natural gas, or related to the capacity and use of LNGfacilities, including planned or unplanned unavailability of these facilities".

Responsibility for identifying the "inside" character of information lies with the market participant. The characteristics and scope of this notion are better defined in the non-binding ACER guidelines , which should be referred to, together with indications in "Clarifications and guidelines on the fulfilment of the obligation to publish inside information pursuant to REMIT" adopted by ARERA with the decision of 25 June 2015, 12/2015 - DMEG.

Article 4 of the REMIT Regulation provides that market participants must disclose any inside information they hold. The disclosure must be made public, effective and valid. It must be timely, simultaneous and integral. ACER guidelines provide further details.

Prohibition of insider trading

REMIT Article 3.1 prohibits persons with inside information in relation to a wholesale energy product from:

  1. using such information by acquiring or selling, or seeking to acquire or sell, on their own account or on behalf of third parties, directly or indirectly, wholesale energy products to which the information refers;
  2. communicating inside information to another person except in the normal exercise of their job, profession or duties;
  3. recommending or inducing another person to acquire or dispose of wholesale energy products to which this information relates.

Some exceptions to this are noted in Article 3.4 of REMIT, under certain conditions.

Prohibition on market manipulation

Article 5 of REMIT prohibits market manipulation. The notion of manipulation is defined in Article 2 (2) of the Regulation. Attempted manipulation, as defined in REMIT Article 2 (3), also constitutes a breach of REMIT Article 5.

In its Recitals (13) and (14), the REMIT Regulation provides examples of different forms that market manipulation can take. The ACER guidelines contain other useful references.

Reporting obligation

Pursuant to Article 8 of REMIT, market participants, directly or through third parties, must provide ACER with the data necessary for monitoring the wholesale electricity and natural gas markets. This reporting activity is carried out through procedures described in the Implementing Regulation (Regulation (EU) No. 1348/2014 of 17 December 2014). The subjects (market participants or third parties) required to transmit the data must register with ACER as RRMs (Registered Reporting Mechanisms – Article 11 of the Implementing Regulation).

Obligation of persons professionally arranging transactions

The REMIT Regulation obliges not only operators who arrange transactions on wholesale energy markets but also people professionally arranging transactions (Persons Professionally Arranging Transactions - PPAT). The latter must comply with REMIT Article 15.

Chapter 9 of the ACER guidelines give a detailed picture of obliged entities and scope of PPATs monitoring and reporting obligations.

The role of the Authority

REMIT assigns the national regulatory authorities the task of monitoring compliance with the Regulation and, to this end, of cooperating with ACER in monitoring the wholesale energy markets. Law no. 161/2014 (Article 22) grants the Authority all supervisory and investigative powers provided for by REMIT. Furthermore, in defining the general principles of sanctions, it also gives the Authority the power to impose pecuniary administrative sanctions.

Law no. 161/2014 also details relations between the Authority and other national institutions:

  1. the Energy Markets Operator (GME) and the National Transmission Grid Operator (Terna), with reference to the markets they manage, collaborating in investigations relating to cases of suspected REMIT breach;
  2. the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM), for coordinating investigations relating to suspected market manipulation and insider trading and / or for implementing the obligation to publish inside information;
  3. c. the public Authority responsible for regulating the Italian financial markets (CONSOB), for coordinating investigations concerning suspected insider trading.

Contacts and information

Useful addresses:

The published documentation does not constitute a professional or legal opinion

last update 3 july 2018