On 2 October 2023, the Financial Markets Conduct (Climate-related Disclosures and Fees) Amendment Regulations 2023 ("Amendment Regulations"), which amend the Financial Markets Conduct Regulations 2014, were released and will come into force on 1 January 2024. The Amendment Regulations support the newly created climate-related disclosures register ("CRD Register") and confirm a new fee payable when climate reporting entities ("CREs") lodge their climate statements on the CRD Register.
For further information on the New Zealand climate-related disclosures regime (including who the regime applies to and the requirement to prepare and lodge climate statements), please see our previous article – Mandatory climate-related disclosures in New Zealand.
What has happened?
The Amendment Regulations provide technical support for the operation of the newly created CRD Register. The CRD Register, created under clause 8 of Schedule 2 of the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 ("Act"), is where CREs will lodge the climate statements they are required to prepare under the climate-related disclosures regime.
The CRD Register will be publicly searchable and include the following information (as applicable) about CREs:
- The name of the CRE
- The NZBN of the CRE
- Copies of the climate statements (or group climate statements) lodged by the CRE
- Assurance practitioner reports on those climate statements lodged by the CRE (when this becomes relevant)
- If the CRE has the benefit of an exemption, a notice of exemption from the requirement to prepare and lodge climate statements
- The balance date of the CRE.
The Amendments Regulations additionally set out for what purposes the CRD Register can be searched and when the Registrar of Financial Service Providers must amend the CRD Register.
The Amendment Regulations insert a new "climate statements fee" into the table of fees in Schedule 3 of the Financial Markets Conduct (Fees) Regulations 2014. This fee will be $391 (including GST) and will be payable by CREs on the lodgement of their climate statements, or on lodgement of their notice of exemption.
The Financial Markets Authority (Levies) Amendment Regulations 2023 ("Amendment Levy Regulations") were additionally released on 2 October 2023. The Amendment Levy Regulations amend the Financial Markets Authority (Levies) Regulations 2012 ("Levy Regulations") such that the annual CRE levy will now also be payable by CREs upon the lodgement of their climate statements on the CRD Register. Previously, the annual CRE levy was payable when the CRE was issued an invoice by the Financial Markets Authority. The amount of this levy depends on the nature and size of the CRE.
Who does this affect?
The Amendment Regulations and Amendment Levy Regulations provide technical support to the climate-related disclosures regime (such as where climate statements will be lodged and confirmation of the fees, including when these fees are payable). This means that both the Amendment Regulations and Amendment Levy Regulations are relevant for all CREs (including those CREs who are not required to prepare and lodge climate statements because of an exemption).
What is next?
The first climate statements for CREs will need to be prepared as either part of the CREs 31 December 2023 reporting, if the CRE has a reporting period beginning 1 January 2023, or prepared as a part of the CREs 30 June 2024 reporting, if the CRE has a reporting period beginning 1 July 2023.
The Financial Markets Authority and the External Reporting Board have produced a range of guidance and resources, and we expect will continue to do so, in the lead up to the lodgement of the first climate statements, which (for CREs with a balance date of 31 December 2023) is required by 30 April 2024.
Please contact our financial services regulation team if you would like any assistance with any aspect of the climate-related disclosures regime.