As we all know, on 9th January 2014 the European Commission proposed that the SEPA deadline should be extended from 1st February to 1st August, 2014. This 6 month SEPA deadline delay or ‘transition period’ was later approved by the European Parliament on 4th February, 2014.
The amendment to Regulation 260/210 was formally adopted by the Council of the European Union on Tuesday 18th February, 2014. The Regulation amendment was retrospectively applied, and has been effective since 31st January 2014.
The Council of European Union press release can be found at: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ecofin/141058.pdf
As I have mentioned in previous posts, the deadline delay was hardly surprising given the weak SEPA implementation figures. Granted there had been good gains in the December 2013 SEPA statistics. But overall, the European authorities had no choice but to delay the deadline to avoid significant and widespread economic disruption.
The transition period has however brought about added confusion. SEPA has a European deadline of 1st August 2014, but its up to the national authorities to decide how long they will allow Payment Service Providers to accept legacy or non-SEPA formats. This in turn means that SEPA zone countries can impose their own SEPA deadlines, and that is exactly what has happened.
Be aware of the SEPA deadlines by country, and be ready! 🙂