MBB Brussels Update | June 2022

MBB Brussels Update | June 2022

EU agreement on Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive

This will apply to large companies employing 250+ employees and listed SMEs. The main outcomes of the final agreement are that companies will be allowed to conduct sustainability reporting at group level, thus exempting subsidiary undertakings from direct reporting obligations when they are included in the consolidated management report. Reporting must be certified by an accredited independent auditor or certifier. In terms of timeline, as from 2024 the CSRD will apply to companies already subject to the NFRD (500+ employees), as from 2025 to all large companies, and as from 2026 to listed SMEs.

The CSRD will require companies to report on the following topics:

 Environmental factors: (i) climate change mitigation including greenhouse gas emissions; (ii) climate change adaptation; (iii) water and marine resources; (iv) resource use and circular economy; (v) pollution; (vi) biodiversity and ecosystems.

Social and human rights factors: (i) equal treatment and opportunities for all, including gender equality and equal pay for work of equal value, training and skills development, the employment and inclusion of people with disabilities, measures against violence and harassment in the workplace, and diversity; (ii) working conditions, including secure employment, working time, adequate wages, social dialogue, freedom of association, existence of work councils, collective bargaining, including the rate of workers covered by collective agreements, the information, consultation and participation rights of workers, work-life balance and health and safety; (iii) respect for the human rights, fundamental freedoms, democratic principles and standards established in the International Bill of Human Rights and other core UN human rights conventions, including the UN Convention on Persons with Disabilities, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and the ILO fundamental conventions, the European Convention of Human Rights, the revised European Social Charter, and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

Governance factors: (i) the role of the undertaking’s administrative, management and supervisory bodies with regard to sustainability matters, and their composition, and their expertise and skills to fulfil this role or access to such expertise and skills; (ii) a the main features of the undertaking’s internal control and risk management systems, in relation to the sustainability reporting process; (iii) business ethics and corporate culture, including anti-corruption and anti-bribery, the protection of whistle-blowers and animal welfare; (iv) engagement of the undertaking to exert its political influence, including its lobbying activities; (v) the management and quality of relationships with customers, suppliers and communities affected by the activities of the undertaking, including payment practices, especially with regard to late payment to SMEs; (vi) the main features of the undertaking’s internal control and risk management systems, in relation to the sustainability reporting and decision-making process.


EU agreement on Gender Balance on Boards

Member States will have the possibility to propose compliance with the Directive through either at least 40% of non-executive director posts or 33% of all director posts occupied by the under-represented sex. The criteria must be met by 30 June 2026. This Directive will apply to Listed companies in the EU.

For more information, visit here.


EU agreement on Single Window Environment for Customs

Parliament and Council reached an agreement on an EU Single Window for Customs, aiming to digitalise and streamline trade procedures. Under the “EU Single Window Environment for Customs” proposal, businesses and traders will be able to provide customs and non-customs data required for goods clearance and to complete the formalities in one single portal in a given member state, thereby reducing duplication, time and costs. With the EU Single Window, customs and other authorities could automatically verify that the goods in question comply with EU requirements and that the necessary formalities have been completed, thus allowing for a fully coordinated approach to goods clearance and a clearer overview at EU level of the goods that are entering or leaving the EU. This means that manual documentary controls to verify certain non-customs formalities will no longer be necessary. Guarantees to ensure that the systems are designed and interconnected with high levels of cyber security and protection of personal data were also included.

For more information, visit here.


EU – New Zealand Trade Agreement

The EU and New Zealand have concluded negotiations for a Trade Agreement. The deal includes sustainability commitments, including respect of the Paris Climate Agreement and core labour rights.


For more information or to submit your feedback, contact the Malta Business Bureau’s Brussels Office on infobrussels@mbb.org.mt