Skip to main content



Search form

Questions and Answers

Questions and Answers

This page 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 (1).

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 following the guidance in the Submit a Q&A section 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.

ESMA will prioritise the questions received according to the following criteria:

  • Type of stakeholder: Questions received from investors’ and regulated firms’ associations, will be prioritised over questions from individual firms. Questions from 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.
  • Geographical origin: EU individuals and entities have priority over non-EU stakeholders.
  • Level of public attention: Topics receiving a higher number of questions will have a higher priority.
  • Relevance of the issue: Questions addressing matters with high market impact, significant cross-border effects, addressing important legal risks or relating to a wide population of affected stakeholders will have a higher priority.

Please note that ESMA endeavours to reply within two months to factual questions received and within four to six months to policy questions that raise new points of interpretation. In its final answer, ESMA may either inform the questioner that a new public response has been published on ESMA’s website as a response to the query received, or instead inform the questioner that ESMA will not address the issue(s) raised, explaining the reasons why.

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.

Finally, please note that ESMA retains the possibility to reject questions:

  • that are unclear/incomplete (i.e. are not clearly phrased or do not respect formal requirements set out in the dedicated submission form available on the ESMA website);
  • that are not related to any of the legal texts within ESMA’s remit;
  • that ask ESMA to direct submitters to where they can find information on a given topic within the Level 1 text and associated delegated or implementing acts, technical standards and guidelines, or to explain the provisions that are already clearly set out therein;
  • that relate to national transposition or implementation of EU legislation, unless this relates to ESMA’s guidelines or peer reviews, for which ESMA publishes compliance tables and reports.
  • that seek ESMA advice on issues which only relate to the factual circumstances of an individual submitter (i.e. specific practices, business models or products which would not have any relevance to other persons).

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.


(1)Under Article 1(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 establishing a European Supervisory Authority (European Securities and Markets Authority) amending Decision No 716/2009/EC and repealing Commission Decision 2009/77/EC, OJ L 331, 15.12.2010, p. 84–119 (the ESMA Regulation). Please note that questions that relate to an activity in Article 1(3) of the ESMA Regulation may only be considered where they relate to subject matter that is necessary to ensure the effective and consistent application of an act in Article 1(2).

Submit a Q&A

To submit a Q&A, please fill in this form, and send it by email by using one of the links below.  Before submitting your question, please consult the Guidance on completing the Q&A Submission form. Please also ensure that your question 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.

Questions on Corporate Disclosure

Questions on Credit Rating Agencies

Questions on Fund Management

Questions on MiFID (II) and Investor Protection

Questions on Market Abuse

Questions on MiFID II MiFIR and Secondary Markets

Questions on Benchmarks

Questions on Short Selling

Questions on Post Trading

Questions on Innovation and Products

List of Q&As

Corporate Disclosure Q&A on ESMA Guidelines on Alternative Performance Measures
  Q&A on Prospectus Related Topics
  Questions and Answers on Big Data
  Q&As on TD
Credit Rating Agencies Q&A on the Implementation of the Regulation (EU) No 462 2013 On CRA
  FAQ regarding the EU regulation on Credit Rating Agencies: Common positions agreed by CESR Members
Fund Management Q&A on AIFMD
  Questions and Answers on UCITS Directive
  Q&A on the Application of the EuSEF and EuVECA Regulations
  Questions and Answers- A Common Definition of European Money Market Funds- updated February 2012
MiFID (II) - Investor Protection Q&A on MiFID II and MiFIR Investor Protection Topics
  Q&A on Best Execution
  Questions and Answers- MiFID complex and non complex financial instruments for the purposes of the Directive’s appropriateness requirements
  Question and Answers- Understanding the definition of advice under MiFID
  Q&A relating to the provision of CFDs and other speculative products to retail investors under MiFID
  Technical Q&As on product intervention measures on CFDs and binary options
  Q&A on MiFID Investor Protection and Intermediaries
Market Abuse On the Market Abuse Regulation
  Q&A Market Abuse Directive
  MAD Accepted Market Practices- Frequently Asked Questions
MiFID (II) MiFIR and Secondary Markets Q&A on MiFID II and MiFIR transparency topics
  Q&A on MiFID II commodity derivatives topics
  Q&A on MiFIR data reporting
  Q&A on MiFID II and MiFIR market structures topics
  Questions and answers on MiFID: Common positions agreed by CESR Members in the area of the Secondary Markets Standing Committee
Benchmarks Q&A on Benchmarks Regulation
Short Selling Implementation of the Regulation on short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps
Post Trading Q&A on ESMA’s EU-wide stress tests for CCPs
  Q&A on EMIR implementation
  Q&A on CSDR
Innovation and products Questions and Answers: Investment-based crowdfunding: money laundering/terrorist financing