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EC adopts regulation endorsing International Accounting Standards

Regulations adopted by the European Commission (EC) will require listed companies to comply with International Accounting Standards (IASs), including related interpretations (SICs), when they submit their consolidated accounts, as from 2005. This decision follows on from the IAS regulations first put in place by the European Parliament and the Council in 2002.

Internal market commissioner Frits Bolkestein says: "Adoption by the Commission of this regulation, endorsing most of the existing International Accounting Standards and publishing them in the EU's official languages, will help the 7000 or so listed EU companies affected to get ready for 2005, when their consolidated accounts will have to be in line with IAS."

The moves are designed to improve competition, transparency and make the free movement of capital much easier among the member states. The regulations do not cover all IASs and SICs. IASs 32 and 39 and related SICs 5, 16 and 17 are exempt, due to their current revision by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). Member States also have the option of extending the Regulations to unlisted companies and individuals accounts.

Unlike EU Directives, the Regulations do not require implementation into national legislation and have immediate legal effect upon adoption.

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