Fabian Demicoli

Sepa migration end dates extended for Malta


The Single Euro
Payments Area (SEPA) migration end-date Regulation (No 260/2012) had
established 1 February 2014 as the date when national credit transfer and
direct debit schemes in the Euro Area had to cease operation and be replaced by
the new SEPA Credit Transfers (SCTs) and SEPA Direct Debits (SDDs) schemes.

Due to
the low SEPA migration pace for SCTs and SDDs registered in a number of EU
countries till the end of 2013, the European Parliament, the European
Commission and the Council of Ministers decided, in February 2014, to extend
the migration period by another six months, so as to ensure full compliance and
minimise the potential risk of market disruptions.

In view
of this end-date extension, the Central Bank of Malta, as the appointed
competent authority for SEPA in terms of the Regulation, has decided, in close
collaboration with the Malta Bankers' Association, to extend, locally, the SEPA
migration end-date for SCTs by three months until 1 May 2014 and by six months
for SDDs until 1 August 2014. These extended periods are being granted in view
of the on-going progress that is being registered, whereby national and
cross-border SCT migration increased from 42% compliance in December 2013 to
80% in February, while SDD migration increased from 46% compliance in December
2013 to 75% in February.

The
Central Bank of Malta and the Malta Bankers' Association urge payment service
users, such as corporates using payroll software for credit transfers and
service providers using direct debits, to maintain the momentum towards
achieving 100% SEPA compliance in the shortest time possible within the newly
established timeframes, after which national non-SEPA compliant direct credit
and direct debit transactions will no longer be accepted for processing by
payment service providers.

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