With this publication, ESMA aims to facilitate the implementation of the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) Regulatory Technical Standard (RTS) by providing XBRL taxonomy files that are compliant with all relevant technical and legal requirements in the RTS, and that issuers should use as a starting point to create their own taxonomies. The taxonomy files intend to facilitate the accessibility, analysis and comparability of Annual Financial Reports (AFRs) in the ESEF format.
The ESEF RTS requires that starting from 2020 all listed issuers publishing AFRs under the meaning of the Transparency Directive prepare their AFRs in the xHTML format. Whenever AFRs contain IFRS consolidated financial statements, issuers shall mark them up using XBRL tags chosen from a taxonomy of accounting concepts, and embed them in the underlying xHTML document using the inline XBRL technology. This will combine the XBRL benefits of tagged data with the human-readable presentation of an AFR.
The ESEF taxonomy is based on the IFRS Taxonomy, prepared and annually updated by the IFRS Foundation, and provides issuers with a hierarchical structure to be used to classify financial information. The taxonomy is made up of a set of electronic files (‘ESEF XBRL taxonomy files’), providing a structured representation of the elements that substantively constitute the core taxonomy. These can be accessed on ESMA’s website in the form of a taxonomy package (in accordance with the XBRL Taxonomy Packages 1.0 specification). The package includes entry points in all EU language. All files within the taxonomy package are also available at their canonical locations, hosted on the ESMA website. The human-readable labels of the core ESEF taxonomy, listing and defining the specific elements that preparers can use to identify (tag) the information disclosed within IFRS consolidated financial statements, are included in Annex VI of the RTS on ESEF.
The publication of the ESEF XBRL Taxonomy files is accompanied by the publication of a set of documentation material presenting their architecture and content.