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EPC Public Consultation: EPC Launches Annual Three Month Public Consultation on Possible Modifications to the SEPA Credit Transfer and SEPA Direct Debit Rulebooks. 16-05-2012

On 16 May 2012, the European Payments Council (EPC) launched the annual public consultation on possible modifications to the SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) and SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) Scheme Rulebooks. The EPC encourages all Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) stakeholders to provide feedback by 13 August 2012.

To date, the EPC develops the SEPA payment schemes and frameworks, based on global technical standards made available by international standardisation bodies, in close dialogue with the customer community. The SEPA payment schemes as defined in the SCT and SDD Rulebooks contain sets of rules and standards for the execution of SEPA payment transactions that have to be followed by adhering payment service providers (PSPs). These rulebooks can be regarded as instruction manuals which provide a common understanding on how to move funds between bank accounts within SEPA. The SCT and SDD Schemes evolve over time based on a transparent change management process adhered to by the EPC. This evolution reflects changes in market needs and updates of technical standards. For details on the principles governing the annual EPC scheme change management cycle, refer to the SEPA Scheme Management Internal Rules (see below).

Any stakeholder may introduce suggestions for changes to the SCT and SDD Rulebooks. All suggestions for changes to the rulebooks are evaluated by the EPC SEPA Payment Schemes Working Group and consolidated into a single change request per rulebook (the SCT Rulebook, the SDD Core Rulebook and the SDD Business to Business Rulebook). In addition, the EPC publishes a change request which details proposed changes to the SEPA Scheme Management Internal Rules:

Should you encounter any technical difficulties in accessing or completing the questionnaires, please contact the EPC Secretariat at secretariat@epc-cep.eu. Proposed changes detailed in the change requests, which are broadly accepted by all stakeholders, are taken forward. The updated versions of the SCT and SDD Rulebooks will be published in November 2012. In accordance with industry best practice, PSPs and their suppliers have a one-year lead time to address rulebook updates prior to such updates taking effect.

In February 2012, the European legislator adopted the 'Regulation (EU) No 260/2012 establishing technical and business requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euro and amending Regulation (EC) No 924/2009' (the SEPA Regulation). The SCT and SDD Schemes will have to comply with the technical requirements detailed in Article 5 and in the Annex to the SEPA Regulation. Some of the change suggestions submitted with this year's public consultation have been introduced by the EPC in order to ensure the schemes' compliance with the SEPA Regulation.

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