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New Exchange Council supports EPEX SPOT's actions against fraudulent activities

Leipzig/Paris, 21/06/2012 – At its constituent meeting, the Members of new Exchange Council elected Peter Heydecker, Head of Origination Gas & Power at Vitol, as Chairman, as well as Pierre Chevalier, DB Energie, Dr. Michael Redanz, MVV, and Dr. Bernhard Walter, EnBW Trading, as Vice-Chairmen of the Exchange Council. Vincent van Lith, BHF Bank, was appointed representative of the Clearing Banks. The Council also decided on the following permanent guests: Nicolas Barbannaud, EDF Trading, Christian Triol, Compagnie Nationale du Rhône, and Prof. Jan-Horst Keppler, Université Paris-Dauphine, as academic counsel.

The Exchange Council of EPEX SPOT heard the report of the Market Surveillance Office concerning the attempts by VAT fraudsters to use the power market for their illegal activities. As a consequence, the Exchange Council approved several modifications of EPEX SPOT’s Code of Conduct, in order to reinforce the protection of the Exchange against such attempts. The Council calls for the vigilance of the Exchange participants in order to avoid being involuntarily taken in chains of VAT fraud.

The measures taken by the Exchange to combat this misbehaviour can however not apply to all transactions, as trading happens also OTC, independently from transactions on the Exchange. The Council joins EPEX SPOT, together with other stakeholders of the European power trading business, to call for the EU-wide implementation of reverse charge for VAT on power, as introduced in France and the Netherlands. Under this procedure, the sales tax liability is transferred from the seller to the buyer so that the sales tax payment is moved to the end of the tax chain; in so doing, there is no longer any appeal for the fraudsters to collect VAT on buyers without paying it to the concerned State. This would help to increase the security of commodity trading as a whole. The Members of the Exchange Council strongly support this action.

The Exchange Council examined the currently discussed introduction of an enhanced version of the Elbas continuous trading system on EPEX SPOT Intraday markets in the framework of the European Intraday Target Model described in the Framework Guidelines published by the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER). The Target Model envisages a Shared Order Book facilitating cross-border trading and a European solution for an integrated Intraday Market. The German-French EPEX Intraday markets on ComXerv continuous trading platform, on which 86% of the Exchange-based traded volumes in Central Western Europe and the Nordic countries were recorded over the last 3 months, are already highly developed. Against this background, the Council expressed strong concerns on the migration to an enhanced version of the Elbas system as long as it is not proven that it can be safely introduced and all the required system performance and functionality are guaranteed. The Members of the Exchange Council proposed a comparison of the two trading systems, Elbas and ComXerv, in terms of reliability, performance, functions, costs and time-to-market in order to make sure that the best available solution is chosen.

The Exchange Council was informed about the second auction procedure, triggered when the market is in curtailment or price limits are reached. The Exchange Council recommends that a group of market members be gathered to raise awareness on forbidden actions during the second auction and supports EPEX SPOT in enhancing its rules and systems.

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The Exchange Council of EPEX SPOT is an official body of the Exchange. 16 members and 5 permanent guests represent adequately the diversity of economic and corporate profiles that exists among the Exchange Members from various sectors: power trading companies, transmission system operators, regional suppliers, brokers and financial service providers, as well as commercial consumers and academics. Its missions include in particular the adoption of the Exchange Rules and the Code of Conduct of EPEX SPOT and their amendments. The Exchange Council approves new trading systems as well as new Contracts or Market Areas and approves the appointment of the Head of the Market Surveillance Office. It meets up quarterly.

EPEX SPOT SE operates the power spot markets for France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland (Day Ahead and Intraday). Together these countries account for more than one third of the European electricity consumption. EPEX SPOT SE is a European company (Societas Europaea) based in Paris with a branch in Leipzig. 314 TWh have been traded in 2011 on EPEX SPOTs power markets. EPEX SPOT has currently 201 Exchange Members.