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Postponements of Deadlines within the Accounting Directive

The European Commission has proposed a decision to amend Directive 2013/34/EU, aiming to rationalize and simplify reporting requirements. The proposal postpones the adoption deadline for sustainability reporting standards for certain sectors and third-country undertakings by 2 years, giving companies sufficient time to prepare for any new reporting requirements.

The Accounting Directive (2013/34/EU) as amended by the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) requires large companies and listed small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), as well as parent companies of large groups, to include in a dedicated section of their management report the information necessary to understand the company’s impacts on sustainability matters, and the information necessary to understand how sustainability matters affect the company’s development, performance, and position. This sustainability information must be reported in accordance with European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS). A first set of ESRS was adopted by the Commission on 31 July 2023. The ESRS in this first set are sector-agnostic, meaning that they apply to all undertakings under the scope of the CSRD, regardless of which sector or sectors the undertaking operates in.

Article 29 of the Accounting Directive originally set June 30, 2024, as the deadline for adopting sector-specific ESRS. However, there is now a proposed extension of this deadline to June 30, 2026. Additionally, Article 40b of the Accounting Directive initially stipulated June 30, 2024, as the adoption date for ESRS applicable to certain non-EU companies conducting business within the Union. This deadline is also intended to be extended to June 30, 2026.

The decision to postpone the adoption deadline aligns with the Commission's broader initiative to reduce regulatory burdens and enhance the business environment in the EU. The overarching goal is to ensure that reporting requirements serve their intended purpose while minimizing administrative complexities.

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