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Implementation of REMIT in Hungary

The adoption of Regulation (EU) No. 1227/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council on wholesale energy market integrity and transparency (the REMIT) in December 2011 has been considered as an important milestone from the perspective of the creation of the internal energy market in the European Union (the EU). The REMIT introduced the first EU-wide legal framework, not only for the regulation of market manipulation and insider trading in the electricity and natural gas wholesale markets, but also for the EU-wide, central and comprehensive system of monitoring and surveying electricity and natural gas wholesale energy markets. The central role in the implementation of the REMIT and the survey of the compliance with the REMIT was assigned to the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (the ACER) established by the so-called Third Energy Package of the European Union.

Although most of the provisions of the REMIT entered into force on December 28 2011, the entering into force of the rules of the REMIT relating to data collection, which form the basis of the application of the market monitoring rules, was delayed until implementing acts containing further details were adopted by the European Commission (the Commission). The data collection implementing acts were adopted by the Commission in December 2014 in the form of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 1348/2014 (the Implementing Acts). According to the Implementing Acts, the data collection rules under the REMIT will enter into force in October 2015 in the case of transactions concluded at organised market places and fundamental data from central information transparency platforms, and in April 2016, in the case of all other transactions and fundamental data.

The Implementing Acts have tasked the ACER with the preparation of user manuals providing legally non-binding guidance to market participants on reportable information, on the basis of which ACER prepared and published in January 2015 three user manuals, which provide the details of the information to be reported, the procedures of reporting and the technical and organisational requirements for reporting.

The Hungarian laws containing rules for the effective application of the regulation of market manipulation and insider trading under the REMIT were adopted in September 2013. Such implementing laws included amendments to the Hungarian Electricity Act and the Hungarian Natural Gas Act, including the introduction of new procedures which may be conducted by the Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority, the Hungarian energy regulator (the HEPURA), necessary for assessing compliance with the REMIT. Further implementing laws included supplements to the enforcement regulations of the Hungarian Electricity Act and the Hungarian Natural Gas Act, including the rules on the penalties which may be levied for infringement of the REMIT. In addition, a new ministerial regulation was adopted containing the rules regarding the website serving for the publication of inside information, detailed rules on the publication of inside information, certain cases qualifying as publishable inside information and rules on publication of inside information in case of a malfunction of the website designated for publication.

The aforementioned Hungarian implementation laws relating to the regulation of market manipulation and insider trading under the REMIT have entered into force gradually, paving the way for the regulation to fully enter into force in Hungary on January 1 2014. The Hungarian implementing laws contain a comprehensive set of rules to be applied in accordance with the REMIT. However, such implementing rules also contain additional obligations which Hungarian market players must comply with, including a list of examples of cases which qualify as inside information under Hungarian law.

The website for the publication of inside information is operated by HUPX, the operator of the Hungarian regulated electricity market and it went live in early 2014. All market participants are obliged to register at the website in order to fulfil their obligation to publish inside information. Registration and publications shall be carried out in accordance with the publication terms issued by HUPX and approved by the HEPURA. The maximum fees to be paid by market participants for the use of the website is fixed in a yearly amount.

As part of the implementation of the market monitoring rules under the REMIT, the HEPURA made available a registration website in early January 2015 in order for market participants to be able to comply with their obligation under the REMIT to register with the competent national regulatory authority before concluding reportable transactions under the REMIT. The data managed by the HEPURA will form part of the EU-wide Centralised European Register for Market Participants to be operated by ACER for the purpose of market monitoring, the establishment of which is due by March 2015. The information to be operated by ACER will also be accessible by the HEPURA based on the related cooperation agreement executed by ACER and the HEPURA in June 2014.