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31 October 2016

European Payment Council: 31 October 2016 marks the final migration to SEPA for non-Euro countries

From now on, when a person located in a SEPA country not using the euro as its currency will send a euro credit transfer or direct debit to another account located in SEPA, it will effectively be mandatory for them to use the SEPA Credit Transfer or SEPA Direct Debit schemes, managed by the EPC.

The ‘Regulation (EU) No 260/2012 establishing technical and business requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euro and amending Regulation (EC) No 924/2009', adopted in 2012 and more commonly referred to as the SEPA Regulation, defines the various deadlines for SEPA countries to comply with its provisions.

From 31 October 2016 onwards, all euro-denominated credit transfers and direct debits initiated in non-euro SEPA countries, sent to accounts in other SEPA countries (both euro and non-euro countries), will therefore have to be compliant with the SEPA Regulation. Credit transfers and direct debits in local currency sent to accounts located in the same non-euro country than the transaction originator’s will continue to use domestic schemes.

Though these euro transactions across SEPA will represent a minor share of the credit transfers and direct debits processed in these non-euro countries (domestic currency transactions being predominant), the 31 October 2016 deadline is nonetheless a major milestone for the SEPA project. By marking the end of the global migration of euro credit transfers and direct debits to SEPA, it is a symbol of the successful harmonisation of these payment instruments in the area. 

The twelve countries directly concerned by the 31 October 2016 migration date are non-euro countries, part of the European Economic Area: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

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