The three national regulatory authorities of Albania (ERE), Greece (RAE) and Italy (AEEGSI) have granted TAP an exemption from the ownership unbundling requirements of EU Gas Directive 2009/73, subject to conditions that prevent possible conflicts of interest between TAP as a pipeline operator and its shareholders active in the production and supply of natural gas. Final Joint Opinion (FJO) on TAP AG’s exemption application, including conditions of exemption (6 June 2013).
These conditions imply that TAP AG must be certified on the basis of the independent transmission system operator (ITO) model before the start of the construction of the TAP pipeline, and no later than 1 January 2018.
Until its certification as an ITO, and prior to allocating capacity as a result of the first Booking Phase, TAP AG had to be functionally unbundled and had to establish a compliance programme to ensure that it has taken all necessary measures to exclude discrimination vis-à-vis non-shareholder parties. In April 2016, TAP was certified by RAE, AEEGSI and ERE as an ITO.
Regulatory compliance programme
The current corporate structure of TAP AG ensures that day-to-day activities are undertaken independently from the production or supply interests of its shareholders, so that principles of Functional Unbundling are adhered to continuously.
Following the ITO certification, TAP updated the Regulatory Compliance Programme (RCP) which sets out measures to ensure its commercial operations are performed on an independent basis:
- to prevent its shareholders to determine the competitive behaviour of the ITO in a way as to favour their interests in supply and production activities,
- to exclude discriminatory conduct, and,
- to prevent communication of commercially sensitive information to its shareholders.
The RCP provides a binding internal framework to ensure that TAP as a whole, as well as its employees, comply with the requirements of the national regulatory authorities, by setting out:
a) Appointment of a Regulatory Compliance Officer responsible for monitoring the RCP and reporting to the national regulatory authorities.
b) The duties and the rights of the employees of TAP AG in the fulfilment of the purposes of the RCP including the prevention to communicate commercially sensitive information.
c) The Road Map for TAP's transition towards an ITO model that lists the certification requirements required to be fulfilled.