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Trading & Shipping: the REACH, REMIT and EMIR Regulations

Rules and regulations regarding chemicals, the integrity of energy markets and contracts between counterparties.

REACH Regulation

The European Commission's REACH Regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals came into force on 1 June 2007, replacing various EU directives and regulations and making the industry responsible for demonstrating the safety of its products.

Key points

The REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) Regulation (EC) 1907/2006 published on 30/12/2006 thoroughly revises all of the European Union rules in force regarding the control of chemical substances for the protection of health and the environment and for the first time makes the industry responsible for demonstrating the safety of its products.

Suppliers and customers

One of the key aspects of the general framework governing the implementation of the REACH Regulation (EC) 1907/2006 concerns the exchange of information between manufacturers and importers and indeed the downstream users of the chemicals in question. One particularly important element of this exchange involves identifying the actual uses of the substances so that they can be assessed as part of the registration process and included on the “extended” safety data sheet (eSDS) in future. If a specific use for the substance is not specified in the dossier, it could lead to restrictions on its actual use. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has developed a series of codes (“REACH descriptors”) in order to classify the use of substances and facilitate the exchange of information on their conditions of use in the various industrial sectors. A list of these codes and other information regarding their usage is available on the ECHA website

Examples

Some of the descriptors used in the context of petroleum products are shown below by way of example:

Domestic fleet med area (Type of information) Description (Meaning of code) Example
SU Sector of use SU3—Industrial manufacturing
PC Product category PC24 – Lubricants, greases
PROC Process category POC1 – Used in closed processes
AC Article category AC10-1 Rubber products, tyres
ERC Environmental release category ERC

A complete list of use descriptors for substance registration in the REACH regulations and exposure scenarios for substances linked to the oil cycle can be found on the following websites: https://www.concawe.eu/ (Select "REACH Implementation", then "10.List of Identified Uses...") and http://atiel.org/ (Select "REACH”).

For communications on this subject please email reach.uses@Eni.it

Registered substances

  • Fuel oil: CAS No. 68476-33-5 - REACH registration no.: 01-2119474894-22-0102
  • Diesel fuel: CAS no. 68334-30 - REACH registration no.: 01-2119484664-27-0136.

The REMIT Regulation

The Regulation on Wholesale Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (REMIT, No. 1227/2011) came into force for all EU Member States on 28 December 2011. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/IT/TXT?qid=1406538349805&uri=CELEX:32011R1227/). The aim of the regulation is to increase the transparency and integrity of wholesale energy markets to combat unlawful practices. In particular, REMIT introduced specific rules at European level for monitoring wholesale energy markets aimed at:

  • identifying market abuse regarding the manipulation (or attempted manipulation) of the market and insider trading
  • prohibiting the above-mentioned practices in the wholesale energy market (electricity and gas)
  • identifying and pre-empting cases of manipulation (or attempted manipulation) of the market or insider trading by means of system to monitor the European energy markets
  • adopting suitable provisions for control in consideration of the fact that national authorities have their own specific powers of investigation, enforcement and sanctioning.

The implementation of REMIT is monitored by the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) and by the national regulatory authorities (in Italy this is the Authority for Electrical and Gas Energy and the Water system) which work together, along with the other national and European authorities (financial and antitrust authorities).

The EMIR Regulation

EU Regulation 648/2012 on OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories (EMIR regulation) has been in force since 16 August 2012 and was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union on 4 July 2012.

Interested parties

The EMIR Regulation identifies the following types of party:

  • Financial counterparties, defined in article 2(8) of the regulation

  • Non-financial counterparties, defined as all companies established in the EU and that are not financial counterparties or central counterparties

  • Qualified non-financial counterparties, which are the most common of the non-financial counterparties, but differ in that the gross notional value of derivatives portfolio exceeds determined thresholds, which are different for each category of derivative. Moreover, it is not objectively possible to measure the ability to reduce risk directly related to commercial activity or treasury financing activities.

Obligations

The obligations stemming from the EMIR Regulation are applied based on the subject's belonging to one of the categories identified above. Financial counterparties in particular are subject to the following:

  • adhere to clearing procedures consisting of undergoing the clearing of OTC negotiated derivatives contracts through central counterparties, which belong to a class of derivatives that has been declared to be subject to the obligation

  • apply all the risk mitigation techniques provided by the EMIR regulations, with reference to contracts which have not undergone clearing by central counterparties

Non-financial counterparties are obliged to:

  • assess whether any OTC derivative activity is above the clearing threshold

  • apply all risk mitigation techniques to combat risk with reference to contracts that do not undergo the clearing process through a central counterparty.

The qualified non-financial counterparties are obliged to:

  • Notify Consob and ESMA if they exceed or return to within threshold limits

  • carry out clearing procedures for contracts subject to the obligation and also those concluded after exceeding the threshold limit

  • apply all mitigation techniques to combat risk, with reference to contracts that do not undergo the clearing process through a central counterparty

The EMIR has also introduced the obligation to report derivatives contracts to a trade repository which is authorised or recognised by ESMA. This applies to the central counterparties and to the subjects belonging to each one of the above-mentioned categories.