European Market Infrastructure Regulation

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The European Market Infrastructure Regulation ("EMIR") is a set of standards for the regulation of OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories. On December 19, 2012, the European Commission adopted nine regulatory and implementing technical standards that finalize EMIR. [1] The rules are expected to become effective in early 2013.

The regulations, intended to guard against systemic risk, will require that certain over-the-counter derivatives trades be moved onto transparent trading platforms and be processed through clearing houses. Derivatives trading on multilateral trading facilities such as Turquoise and Nasdaq OMX NLX will be considered over-the-counter trades and will be subject to stricter requirements on margins than trades conducted on an exchange. Emir also requires members of clearing houses to offer stricter segregation of client assets, and margin will have to be held separately.[2]


Just as the Dodd-Frank Act was enacted in the U.S. in order to improve transparency and accountability in the market after the financial crisis of 2008, the European Commission in 2009 called for the development of a regulatory framework for OTC derivatives. The framework stemmed from commitments made at a G20 meeting in Pittsburgh in September 2009. [3]

In September 2010, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published its EMIR proposal. After several consultations, comment periods and drafts, the final draft of EMIR was submitted to the EC on September 27, 2012. On December 19, 2012, the EC adopted nine regulatory and implementing technical standards, which finalize requirements for the mandatory clearing and reporting of transactions. The regulations will become effective 20 days after appearing in the EU Official Journal. [4]

EMIR Highlights

Major components of EMIR include:

  • a reporting obligation for OTC derivatives;
  • a clearing obligation for eligible OTC derivatives;
  • measures to reduce counterparty credit risk and operational risk for bilaterally cleared OTC derivatives;
  • common rules for central counterparties (CCPs) and for trade repositories; and 
  • rules on the establishment of interoperability between CCPs. [5]

For more information, visit the EMIR page in MarketsReformWiki.


  1. Financial Services regulations adopted. New Europe Online.
  2. Quick View: Emir begins to make its mark. The Financial Times.
  3. European Commission adopts technical standards for regulation of CCPs and trade repositories. Finextra.
  4. Commission adopts technical standards for the Regulation on OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories.
  5. European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). Financial Services Authority.