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Brussels, 12 July 2007

Auditing: consultation shows support for Commission action on non-EU audit firms

The European Commission has published a summary of the responses to its recent public consultation on the regulation of non-EU audit firms (see IP/07/31). Overall, respondents support Commission action within the framework of the Directive on Statutory Audit to regulate and supervise non-EU audit firms, as well as to increase co-operation with competent authorities from non-EU countries.

Internal Market and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said: "The responses we have received will help us to decide how to deal with non-EU audit firms while avoiding disruption of capital markets. They also demonstrate that co-operation among European audit regulators is essential."

Overall, respondents support Commission action to improve the implementation of the Directive on Statutory Audit at national level in order to encourage the development of effective systems of audit regulation and to avoid disruption of capital markets.

Respondents also welcomed the idea that the Commission should assess and decide on equivalence of non-EU countries' public supervision systems. In particular they supported the introduction of transitional measures for the non-EU audit firms concerned to foster the development of effective regulatory systems and to prevent market fragmentation.

Many respondents emphasised the need to develop a system of co-operation in registration procedures between the authorities of the EU Member States. Co-operation in registration would be essential in reducing the administrative burden imposed on audit entities that are subject to multiple registrations. The European Group of Auditors Oversight Bodies (EGAOB) was considered as the appropriate forum in which to agree on co-operation in registration procedures.

The responses authorised for publication and the summary of all responses are available at:

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