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Additional transition period for SEPA migration

On 9 January 2014 the European Commission adopted a proposal to amend Regulation (EU) No 260/2012 in order to give an extra transition period of six months for migration to the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). With this change, payment service providers have until 1 August 2014 to process payment transactions in euro in formats that are different from those required by SEPA.

The European Commission’s initiative takes into account that the current migration indicators in most SEPA countries do not suggest a successful migration by 1 February 2014; against this background, the Commission is trying to avoid disruptions in payment systems with adverse consequences for consumers and businesses.

The European Commission announced that there will be no further transition period after 1 August 2014.

As a result of this proposal, Banco de Portugal will accept the continuation of the legacy solutions and formats for credit transfers and direct debits during an additional period of six months, keeping in operation the respective subsystems, part of the Interbank Clearing System (SICOI) until 1 August 2014.

Banco de Portugal stresses that payment service providers and users must continue their efforts to migrate to SEPA.

For further information on SEPA, please go to SEPA - Perguntas Frequentes (SEPA – Frequently asked questions, only available in Portuguese).

Lisbon, 22 January 2014