(Please note: the European Commission communicated on 9 January 2014 that it proposes to modify the European Union (EU) ‘Regulation (EU) No 260/2012 establishing technical and business requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euro’ to “give an extra transition period of six months during which payments which differ from the format can still be accepted” after 1 February 2014. According to the European Commission, “the proposal does not change the formal deadline for migration of 1 February 2014.” This proposal does not impact the SEPA Credit Transfer and SEPA Direct Debit Rulebook release management.)
The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) payment schemes, as set out in the SEPA Credit Transfer () and SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) Rulebooks, evolve based on a transparent change management process adhered to by the European Payments Council (). This evolution reflects changes in market needs and updates of technical standards developed by international standards bodies, such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). For details on the SCT and SDD rulebook release management and scheme development, refer to the ‘related links’ below.
Since the launch of the SCT and SDD Schemes, the EPC has generally published updated versions of the rulebooks and associated implementation guidelines once annually in November. These updated versions normally take effect in the third week of November of the following year. In accordance with industry best practice, all stakeholders and their suppliers therefore have sufficient lead time to address rulebook updates prior to such changes taking effect.
In November 2012, the EPC published:
- The SCT Rulebook version 7.0.
- The Rulebook version 7.0.
- The SDD Business to Business (B2B) Rulebook version 5.0.
As communicated in 2012, the EPC decided to postpone the effective date for the SCT Rulebook version 7.0, SDD Core Rulebook version 7.0 and Rulebook version 5.0 published in November 2012, from 16 November 2013 to 1 February 2014. This allows market participants to adapt their systems and operations to comply with both the Regulation (EU) No 260/2012, which effectively mandates migration to SCT and SDD in the euro area by 1 February 2014, and new rulebook versions.
In January 2014, the EPC published the SCT Rulebook version 7.1, the SDD Core Rulebook version 7.1 and the SDD B2B Rulebook version 5.1. The SCT Rulebook version 7.0, SDD Core Rulebook version 7.0 and SDD B2B Rulebook version 5.0 published in November 2012 have been updated to include a few editorial amendments. The updated rulebook versions remain unchanged from a functional or technical point of view; i.e. changes introduced into the updated versions are of a purely administrative nature and have no operational impact whatsoever.
As a main change, the updated rulebook versions no longer reference the concept of a ‘Pan-European Automated Clearing House (PE-ACH)’ nor the EPC document, entitled ‘PE-ACH/Clearing and Settlement Mechanism (CSM) Framework’. The EPC resolved to withdraw the document ‘PE-ACH/Clearing and Settlement Mechanism (CSM) Framework’, which was first published in January 2007, from publication, because it is no longer required at this stage in the SEPA process.
The rulebook versions that take effect on 1 February 2014 are therefore, the SCT Rulebook version 7.1, the SDD Core Rulebook version 7.1 and the SDD B2B Rulebook version 5.1.
The interbank and customer-to-bank implementation guidelines related to the SCT and SDD Schemes published in November 2012 remain unchanged and will also take effect on 1 February 2014.
The rulebook versions and associated implementation guidelines taking effect on 1 February 2014 are available on the EPC Website pages included in the ‘related links’ below.
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