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New Q&A tool launched

09 February 2017

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) today launches a new Q&A tool, providing easy access to stakeholders to consult existing Q&As and submit new questions.  The tool is available on the new Questions and Answers page, which contains an overview of all Q&As developed by ESMA per legislative act and instructions on submitting new questions to ESMA.

What is the purpose of the Q&A tool?

The tool provides a means for ESMA to collect and address publicly questions from stakeholders with the purpose of ensuring the consistent and effective day-to-day application of Union law within ESMA’s remit.

Who can ask questions?

Any person may submit a question to ESMA, including members of the public, consumer associations, financial market participants (including supervised entities) and other stakeholders.
Where possible, legal persons and other bodies are encouraged to coordinate their questions internally before submission to avoid duplication and to ensure all aspects of a question are considered.

What questions can I ask?

Any question relating to the application of a legislative act within ESMA’s remit or on any of ESMA’s guidelines or opinions.

How should I submit my question?

Starting 9 February 2017 any new question should be submitted by completing the Q&A submission form and sending it to ‘’. Please see the Guidance on completing the Q&A Submission Form.
Before submitting your question, please ensure that it has not already been answered by ESMA. You can do this by using the “search function” in the relevant Q&A pdf documents listed in the table below.

What will happen after I submit my question?

Once you submit your question, you will receive an acknowledgement of receipt and ESMA staff will review your question. Should further information and/or clarification be needed to answer your question, ESMA staff will contact you.

Questions stemming from EU stakeholders and that have significant relevance on the single market or on matters with important legal risks and significant cross-border effects, in addition to those questions from investor associations and associations of regulated firms, will generally be prioritised over others.

Questions from other stakeholders, such as consultants or law firms, will be considered with lower priority unless they are raising a high impact issue or it is demonstrated (as part of the information submitted) that these stakeholders are acting on behalf of financial market participants subject to a legislative act within ESMA’s remit. Although ESMA will do its utmost to process questions as quickly as possible, the number, complexity and prioritisation of the questions submitted will necessarily affect the time taken for ESMA to address the matters raised.

Please note that not all submitted questions necessarily result in a response from ESMA. Furthermore, where questions are of general interest, ESMA will not reply directly to you but will publish the response on its website.

Where appropriate, ESMA may also decide to merge or group together similar questions submitted by multiple parties and provide one answer. ESMA will need to assess each question on a case-by-case basis to determine what next steps, if any, would be beneficial.

Your personal data will be handled according to the relevant data protection rules as stated in ESMA’s notice on Data Protection.

Where will answers to questions be found?

Q&As will be published in English on ESMA’s website.

What is the importance of the Q&A tool?

Q&As are a form of guidance on the acts within ESMA’s remit. As is the case with other forms of guidance, Q&As are adopted by ESMA’s Board of Supervisors. This guidance may be informed by consultations with the Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group and the relevant Standing Committees’ Consultative Working Group, where appropriate.

Q&As are not legally binding, yet their application will be rigorously scrutinised by ESMA and national competent authorities given their practical significance to achieve a level-playing field.

In the areas where ESMA is the direct supervisor of financial market participants, Q&As act to inform its approach.

Please note that only the Court of Justice of the European Union can provide a definitive interpretation of EU law.