EU Accounting Directive

The Transparency Initiative: Are You Ready?

British Gas Controversially Increases Its Energy Prices

Introduction
The UK is set to become the first EU member state to transpose the most recent EU directives on accounting and transparency rules in an effort to satisfy growing demands for a European-wide strategy to fight corruption in relation to substantial payments that oil and gas companies are often required to make to government entities by way of signing bonuses, taxes or royalties.

The UK has kick-started with Directive 2013/34/EU (the “EU Accounting Directive”) which, among other things, provides in its Chapter 10 for new reporting obligations for certain types of companies. By doing so, UK registered companies operating in extractive industries such as oil, gas and mining will be required to disclose certain payments made to governments in the various countries they operate in, on a country-by-country or project-by-project basis. The draft UK regulations, referred to as “The Reports on Payments to Governments Regulations 2014”, have not yet been passed by Parliament, however are proposed to come into force on 1 December 2014, more than 7 months ahead of the deadline imposed by the EU Accounting Directive.