The Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance has launched a consultation to transpose the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) into national law that allows independent providers to provide assurance services on sustainability reporting.

In this sense, the proposal put forward for consultation differs from the directive, the ministry said.

However, the finance ministry and the securities market regulator CONSOB (Companies and Exchange Commission) will conduct a study of the transition to the new regime within three years of its implementation as national law. The review will gauge the size of the market and its capacity to absorb the increase in the number of subjects required to request assurance services to report on sustainability, as well as the costs and benefits of third-party assurance services, the ministry added.

The study will also look at other EU countries where the option is, in the majority of cases, still under examination, as well as the availability of principles of independence and quality control effectively applicable also by providers of services other than auditors, the regulator said, adding that those principles are currently only available to legal auditors.

CONSOB and the finance ministry are taking into account the need to protect the integrity and quality of sustainability reporting compliance certification services and, at the same time, promote competition in the market, it added.

CONSOB’s scope of supervision under the CSRD is limited to listed companies, while for unlisted companies no additional supervision is required compared to what is foreseen by the provisions of the Civil Code.

In Italy, the CSRD takes over the role of the law decree that transposed into law the Directive 2014/95/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014, on non-financial information and information on diversity by certain groups, that will have to disclose specific information.

The goal is to allow investors and stakeholders too access information on sustainability of a single company or group, that are detailed, clear and as standardised and exhaustive as possible, with a positive impact in financial markets in terms of transparency and comparability of data.

European member states are required to transpose the CSRD into national law by 6 July 2024. The consulation will be open until 18 March.

France has become the first country to transpose the CSRD into national law.

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