Ireland: Overview Of The Regulation Of The Electricity Sector In Ireland

Last Updated: 1 May 2015
Article by Alex McLean, Nicole NR Ridge and Niall Esler

INTRODUCTION

The principal legislation governing the electricity industry in Ireland is the Electricity Regulation Act 1999, as amended ("1999 Act"), which provides for the establishment of a regulatory framework for the introduction of competition in the generation and supply of electricity in Ireland. The 1999 Act also established the Commission for Energy Regulation ("CER") as the national regulatory authority responsible for overseeing the liberalisation of Ireland's energy sector including granting licences for the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity.

POLICY AND REGULATION

Overall policy responsibility for the electricity sector in Ireland lies with the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (the "Minister") and his Department ("DCENR"). In this capacity, the Minister is advised by a range of other statutory bodies including the CER and Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.

Government policy in the Irish electricity sector is driven principally by the relevant EU directives, for example:

  • the European Communities (Internal Market in Electricity) Regulations 2000 (the "2000 Regulations") completed the transposition of Directive 96/92/ EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 December 1996 concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity;
  • the European Communities (Internal Market in Electricity) Regulations 2005 (the "2005 Regulations") were introduced to transpose the requirements of Directive 2003/54/ EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2003 concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity and repealing Directive 96/92/EC;
  • the European Communities (Internal Market in Electricity) Regulations 2010 (the "2010 Regulations") represent the first step taken in Ireland towards the transposition of Directive 2009/72/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity. The Directive repeals Directive 2003/54/EC. The 2010 Regulations provide, inter alia, for the strengthening of independent regulation, better levels of consumer protection, the licensing of a public electricity supplier, the designation of a supplier of last resort and the enhancement of security of supply provisions. The European Communities (Internal Market in Electricity and Gas) (Consumer Protection) Regulations of 2011 give further legal effect to consumer protection provisions of Directive 2009/72/EC; and
  • the European Communities (Renewable Energy) Regulations 2011 (as supplemented by the Sustainable Energy Act 2002 (section 8(2)) (Conferral of Additional Functions – Renewable Energy) Order 2012) have transposed Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of use of energy from renewable sources.

Responsibility for day-to-day regulation of the sector rests with the CER. In the context of the SEM, the CER is required to liaise closely with its counterpart in Northern Ireland, the Utility Regulator. All decisions concerning SEM matters must be made by the SEM Committee, a committee of the CER and the Utility Regulator, and comprised of three CER representatives, three representatives of the Utility Regulator in Northern Ireland, an independent member and a deputy independent member.

The CER's roles include establishing arrangements for trading in electricity; determining electricity tariffs; issuing licences and authorisations; approving terms of access to the distribution and transmission systems and resolving disputes in respect of the same; advising the Minister on the effect of electricity generation in relation to sustainability and international agreements and the development of the electricity industry; promotion of competition and renewable energy generation; ensuring security of supply; and protecting the interests of final customers. Recent amendments to the 1999 Act give the CER power to take all actions it considers necessary to participate in the SEM and provide for the CER's objectives and functions as they relate to the SEM. The CER is also the national regulatory authority for purposes of Directive 2009/72/EC (concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity).

The CER is the independent national regulatory authority and is entirely independent of the electricity market participants, including the state owned Electricity Supply Board ("ESB").

However, the Minister retains certain reserve powers to give directions to the CER. The Minister may direct the CER to impose public service obligations in relation to the security of supply, regularity, quality and price of supplies, environmental protection (including energy efficiency and climate protection) and use of indigenous energy sources on the ESB or holders of licences to generate or to supply electricity. Extensive use has been made of this power with public service obligations imposed in relation to renewable support, indigenous fuel sources and for security of supply. Historically, only the ESB had been subject to public service obligations. However, since 2008, requirements have been imposed on other suppliers to have available to them and purchase an amount of electricity contracted under the various Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff ("REFIT") schemes. The Minister may also give the CER directions in respect of the criteria in accordance with which an application for an authorisation may be determined by the CER and the definitions of combined heat and power, and renewable, sustainable or alternative sources of energy. The Minister may not give policy directions in relation to SEM matters.

Decisions of the CER on the granting of an electricity supply or generation licence under section 14 or an authorisation to construct a generating station under section 16 of the 1999 Act, and decisions of the CER on modification of the terms of such licences or authorisations already granted can be appealed to the Minister within 28 days of the making of the decision.

The Minister must then set up an independent appeal panel that will have all the powers and duties of the CER that are necessary to carry out its function. The panel will have certain powers of the High Court in relation to production of documents and attendance of witnesses and may confirm the refusal to grant a licence or authorisation or direct the CER to grant a licence or authorisation with or without conditions. In the case of modification of a licence or authorisation the appeal panel may either confirm the modification or direct the CER not to make it.

Provision is also made for application for judicial review through order 84 of the Rules of the Superior Courts. Such an application must be made promptly or in any event within two months of the decision in question. The application for leave to apply for judicial review will only be granted if the High Court is satisfied that there are substantial grounds for contending that the decision is invalid or ought to be quashed. An application for judicial review may be made in respect of decisions of either the Minister or the CER.

ADMINISTRATIVE CONSENTS AND LICENCES FOR A GENERATOR

The key administrative authorisation required to construct a generation facility is an authorisation to construct or reconstruct a generating station issued by the CER pursuant to section 16 of the 1999 Act. The criteria to which the CER may have regard in determining an application for such an authorisation are prescribed under the Electricity Regulation Act 1999 (Criteria for Determination of Authorisations) Order 1999 and the 2005 Regulations (the latter amending section 18 of the 1999 Act). Other authorisations such as planning permission are also required.

The key administrative authorisation required to operate a generation facility is a licence to generate electricity issued by the CER pursuant to section 14(1) (a) of the 1999 Act. Other operational permits in relation to pollution or emissions may also be required.

The CER may modify licences or authorisations with or without the consent of the holder. Standard form licences and authorisations have been published by the CER. On 30 August 2007, the CER published simplified authorisation and licensing procedures for generators with capacities less than 1MW and less than 10MW. The relevant procedures are set out in the Electricity Regulation Act 1999 (section 16(3a)) Order 2008 and the Electricity Regulation Act 1999 (section 14(1a)) Order 2008 respectively.

GRID CONNECTION

A generator may be connected to the transmission network or the distribution network. Details in respect of each process are set out below.

Transmission and distribution systems licences

Pursuant to section 14(2A) of the 1999 Act only EirGrid may be granted a licence as transmission system operator ("TSO"). The licence is issued under section 14(1)(e) of the 1999 Act. Pursuant to section 14(2B) of the 1999 Act only the ESB may be granted a licence as transmission system owner. The licence is issued under section 14(1)(f) of the 1999 Act.

Pursuant to section 14(2C) of the 1999 Act, only the ESB or a subsidiary of the ESB may be granted a licence to act as distribution system operator ("DSO"). The licence is issues under section 14(1)(g) of the 1999 Act. ESB Networks Limited has been established for this purpose. Pursuant to section 14(2DA) of the 1999 Act only the ESB may be granted a licence as distribution systems owner. The licence is issued under section 14(1)(k) of the 1999 Act.

Connection offers

Any person is entitled to apply to the TSO or DSO (as appropriate) for connection to the transmission or distribution system. However, if the person is not an eligible customer or does not hold a licence under section 14 of the 1999 Act or an authorisation to construct or reconstruct a generating station under section 16 of the 1999 Act, any offer from the TSO or DSO must be subject to the person becoming an eligible customer or obtaining a licence or authorisation.

The only circumstances in which the TSO or DSO can refuse to make a connection offer to an applicant are set out in section 34(4) of the 1999 Act and include: where the CER is satisfied that it is not in the public interest; where it would result in a breach of the 1999 Act, the Regulations made under the 1999 Act, the Grid Code or distribution code (as appropriate) or any condition of any licence or authorisation; or where the applicant does not undertake to be bound by the terms of the Grid Code or distribution code (as appropriate).

The 1999 Act requires the TSO and the DSO to offer transparent and nondiscriminatory terms for connection to and use of the transmission system. The CER may issue directions to the TSO and DSO specifying connection terms from time to time, including in relation to matters to be specified in a connection agreement or use of system agreement, the terms and conditions of a connection offer, the manner in which costs will be shared between the TSO/DSO and connection applicants and the time for making or refusing to make a connection offer. Following consultation with the TSO and DSO, the CER issued a decision on 6 October 2004 in relation to the terms for connection to and use of the transmission and distribution systems. These terms have evolved over the intervening years, and the CER now approves standard connection documents for access to the transmission and distribution systems.

There are separate agreements: (a) with the DSO for a distribution system connection; or (b) with the TSO for a transmission system connection. In either case the connection agreement is in a standard form approved by the CER and governs connection to the relevant system. Each connection agreement incorporates general conditions which are standard form conditions approved by the CER, and the projectspecific offer letter. A connection agreement binds the connecting party to the relevant distribution/ transmission codes and governs construction and commissioning of the connection works and ongoing connection to the network.

There are two types of works that need to be carried out before a generator connects to the grid:

  • Shallow connection works, which relate to the development of the local connection. Once the shallow works are completed, a generator may export to the grid. However, there is no guarantee of financial compensation if it is constrained off unless all of the deep connection works are completed (i.e. "nonfirm" access). The cost of shallow connection works are borne by the generator, or shared amongst a group of generators in the same sub-group. Where the TSO or the DSO bear these costs, they are "passed through" to the generator.
  • Deep reinforcement works, also known as "associated transmission reinforcements" or "ATRs" relate to the assets that are required for the network as a whole. Once the ATRs are complete, the generator is entitled to financial compensation where it is curtailed or constrained (i.e. firm access). The costs of ATRs are covered by transmission use of system ("TUOS") charges paid by generators. In certain circumstances, the generator will take on the responsibility to construct works that would ordinarily be carried out by the TSO, and are referred to as "contestable activities". Contestable activities may include detailed design, routing, site selection, planning consents, wayleaves procurement and construction (subject to a given set of standards and TSO acceptance) for contestable assets. Where a connection offer is "non-contestable", the TSO will be responsible for constructing all of the transmission works.

It is one of the conditions to accepting a connection offer that the generator has entered into a Transmission Use of System Agreement ("TUoS Agreement") with EirGrid. The TUoS Agreement is a standard form agreement which sets out the terms and conditions upon which EirGrid permits the "User" (i.e. the generator) to use the ESB Transmission System. Under the TUoS Agreement, EirGrid agrees to the User being provided with the use of the ESB transmission system at the Network Connection Points. The User, in turn agrees to pay the generation related generation transmission service TUoS charges under a specified tariff schedule. TUoS tariffs are revised annually. The General Conditions of Connection and Transmission Use of System are incorporated into the TUoS Agreement. It is a condition precedent to the TUoS agreement, inter alia, that the generator be a party to the Trading and Settlement Code.

Policy, charges and group processing

Some elements of transmission connection policy have been harmonised in Ireland and Northern Ireland under the SEM arrangements, including the introduction of a harmonised transmission charging policy and a harmonised treatment of losses. In 2009 the CER approved a number of changes to its Electricity Network Connection Policy. These changes relaxed a number of requirements, including in relation to capacity bonds, for renewable and distribution-connected generators in particular.

In May 2011 the CER approved a joint Connection Offer Policy and Process Paper of EirGrid and ESB Networks Limited setting out some policy and process issues applying to applications for connection to the transmission and distribution networks respectively. The CER issued supplemental guidelines in August 2014 focusing on the challenges facing project delivery where actions of one developer may affect other developers.

The CER may give directions from time to time in respect of the basis for charges for the use of and connection to the transmission system. Section 35 of the 1999 Act provides that the ESB shall (within such time as the CER may direct) prepare a statement setting out the basis upon which charges are imposed for use of and connection to its transmission system or distribution system.

Section 35(4) provides that charges for connection to or for the use of the transmission system or distribution system shall be calculated so as to enable the ESB to recover the appropriate proportion of the costs directly or indirectly incurred in carrying out all necessary work; and a reasonable rate of return on the capital represented by such costs.

The CER conducts a revenue review every five years to determine the revenues that the ESB may earn in order to cover the cost of providing the network. The current review covers the period 2011 to 2015 and sets out the total allowed revenues over that period. Tariffs for the use of the transmission system and distribution system are set annually by the CER.

To facilitate processing of applications for connection of wind generation to the grid, the CER has directed the system operators to operate a group processing procedure. Under group processing, connection applications from prospective renewable generators are processed by the system operators under defined criteria simultaneously in batches or gates, with the eligible applications broken into geographical groups depending on their level of interaction. Applications equating to 1,300MW were processed in Gate 2. On 16 December 2008, the CER published its direction on Gate 3, directing EirGrid and ESB Networks to issue connection offers to a further 3,900MW of renewable generation projects. Applicants are granted firm connection to the network based on EirGrid's overall strategy for development of the grid and its schedule for completing the necessary deep transmission reinforcement works.

SEM

The Irish electricity sector underwent fundamental reform with the establishment on 1 November 2007 of a single electricity market (the "SEM") encompassing Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Energy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006 and the Electricity Regulation (Amendment) (Single Electricity Market) Act 2007 amend the 1999 Act to provide the legal basis for the SEM in Ireland, including establishment of the SEM Committee of the CER.

The wholesale market of the SEM is operated by Single Electricity Market Operator ("SEMO"). SEMO is a contractual joint venture between EirGrid, the transmission system operator in Ireland, and its Northern Ireland counterpart, System Operator Northern Ireland ("SONI"). EirGrid holds a SEMO licence under section 14(j) of the 1999 Act and is exempted from the need to hold a licence in Northern Ireland. SONI holds a corresponding licence in Northern Ireland and an exemption under section 14(2F) of the 1999 Act. SONI was acquired by EirGrid in March 2009. The market rules are set out in the Trading and Settlement Code, agreed procedures and approved modifications.

One of the key features under the SEM rules is the mandatory gross pool (the "Pool"). The sale and purchase of electricity is conducted on a gross basis, with all generators/suppliers receiving/paying the same price for the electricity sold into/bought via the Pool (the "System Marginal Price" or "SMP"). All generators with a Maximum Export Capacity ("MEC") over 10MW are required to participate in the Pool either directly or through an appointed intermediary. An intermediary is a quasi-agent peculiar to the SEM. Because all electricity must be traded in the Pool above a de minimis level, contracts for physical power are in principle prohibited. However, an intermediary registers in the market as the generator unit and sells physical power into the SEM and receives the revenues associated with the generator unit (energy payments and capacity payments). In order to sell physical power into the Pool, the intermediary must have title to the power and therefore above de minimis generators will enter into Power Purchase Agreements ("PPAs") with their intermediaries.

While participation in the Pool is compulsory, certain generators are permitted to operate outside the pool ("Non-Participating Generators").

Any generator with a MEC below 10MW falls below the de-minimis threshold for participation in the SEM and so can choose to be a Non- Participating Generator.

A de-minimis generator can enter into a PPA with a supplier and is treated by the Meter Registration Service Operator ("MRSO") as negative demand for that supplier. Effectively, in any Trading Period, the output from the generator is deducted from the aggregate load of that supplier's customers. In this way, the supplier avoids the cost of purchasing from the SEM pool that volume of electricity that is generated by the de-minimis generator. Typically a de-minimis generator will always choose to net its output against a Supplier Unit rather than appoint a supplier as Intermediary to sell into the pool. The reason for this is because the avoided cost of a supplier purchasing electricity from the pool is greater than the revenues received by a generator for the same volume of electricity in the same timeframe (due to avoided charges etc.). This results in greater revenue for the supplier and the ability for the generator to negotiate a more favourable PPA.

Generation is scheduled and dispatched by the TSOs based on offers to generate, taking into account constraints, interconnector trades and priority dispatch. Conventional generators in the SEM ("price makers") compete through commercial offers. Renewable generation benefits from priority dispatch, which means that they will be turned on first in the order of generation, subject to any system constraints or curtailment. The rationale for priority dispatch is to reach Ireland's binding renewable energy targets under the EU Renewable Directive 2009/28/ EC. Renewable generators are known as "price takers" as they impact the market price only by their effect on the demand to be met by price makers and will receive payment based on their generation availability.

There are two loss factors in the SEM, the distribution loss adjustment factor ("DLAF") and the transmission loss adjustment factor ("TLAF"), which result in change to the traded volumes in the SEM. A generator's energy metered at the site will be multiplied by the applicable DLAF and TLAF prior to settlement in the SEM.

The spot price of wholesale electricity in Ireland is a single marginal (pool) price determined by reference to an unconstrained unit commitment and production schedule, the objective of which is to set prices to minimise the cost of production. The single electricity market operator calculates half-hourly market prices, in accordance with the market trading rules, which were developed by the CER in conjunction with its Northern Irish counterpart under section 9BA(1) of the 1999 Act.

Since the implementation of the SEM, reserve prices for auctions of Directed Contracts (contracts for differences, which hedge the system marginal price) have been used as benchmark forward prices for electricity. The quantity and pricing of directed contracts are set by the regulators.

I-SEM

EU Member States have been tasked with implementing electricity markets that are consistent with the EU Target Model by 2014. The SEM faces certain challenges in this regard, in particular insofar as it does not provide for an ex ante price nor does it permit widespread intra-day trading. However, a two year derogation has been granted to implement the necessary SEM reforms. The CER in Ireland and the Utility Regulator in Northern Ireland (together the "Regulatory Authorities") have now sought to extend that date further to late 2017.

In September 2014, a final decision paper was published by the SEM Committee in respect of the design of the I-SEM alongside a detailed impact assessment. It should be noted that this is a high level design ("HLD") decision only, and its purpose is to set out a series of recommendations which may be ultimately incorporated into binding legislation. The decision paper provides that the I-SEM will be focused on liquid and transparent markets, while ensuring security of supply, meeting environmental requirements and maximising benefits for consumers in the short-term and the long-term.

The I-SEM will offer four timeframes/ markets to trade: (i) the forward market; (ii) the day-ahead market ("DAM"); (iii) the intra-day market ("IDM"); and (iv) the balancing market ("BM").

Forwards market

For in-zone trading, only financial trading will be permitted (with no right for physical settlement) in the forwards timeframe. Trading is expected to be by way of contracts for differences ("CfDs") struck against a reference market, expected to be the DAM, allowing for hedging. The HLD provides that this will support the formation of robust and transparent prices in the DAM and IDM and ensure liquidity in those markets is not reduced. Cross-zonal trading, subject to further discussions and agreement with neighbouring markets, will be supported by financial transmission rights - effectively a CfD with payments based on the difference between the dayahead price in the zones.

DAM

The European Day Ahead Market will be the 'exclusive' route to a physical contract nomination at the day-ahead stage and the only route to take a forward position in the DAM. Entry into the DAM is not mandatory, but the delivery of a liquid DAM is an important focus for the detailed design. The SEM Committee expects participation to be incentivised to provide robust reference prices for forward trading and to facilitate efficient trading across interconnectors.

The HLD provides that there will be unitbased participation for generation, save for portfolio aggregation arrangements for demand-side units, demand and specified variable renewable generation (to be specified in the detailed design phase). Even where aggregation is allowed, gross portfolio bidding means that ordinarily separate bids must be submitted for demand, demand side units and for generation.

IDM

Continuous intraday trading will be the exclusive route to intraday physical contract nominations, although there will be scope to introduce periodic implicit auctions if these develop at the European level. Making a matched trade in the European intraday price coupling mechanism, where a first come first served basis is used to allocate crosszonal capacity to match bids and offers in different zones, is specified in the HLD as the only route by which a market participant can update their physical contract nomination at the intraday stage. As with the DAM, there will be unit-based participation for generation in general, with gross portfolio aggregation arrangements for demandside units, demand and specified variable renewable generation.

Balancing market

The HLD provides that the starting point for dispatch is detailed and feasible physical nominations required for all market participants following the DAM. This will be updated to reflect developments in the intraday stage. TSOs will be responsible for ensuring a feasible dispatch of plant that delivers a safe and secure system, including having sufficient reserve. Market participants will be responsible for converting a contractual schedule for any generation allowed in a gross portfolio into a schedule for individual units and the detailed design phase will determine rules and responsibilities for converting the contractual schedules into a more granular nomination profile.

The HLD provides that all market participants will be responsible for balancing, meaning that they are responsible for the difference between actual generation or load and the volumes traded. Participation in the BM will therefore be mandatory after day-ahead stage and in general will be unit-based with a single imbalance price. Participants will submit incremental and decremental bids. The HLD indicates that there will be marginal pricing for unconstrained energy balancing actions and pay as bid for non-energy actions (possibly combined with local market power mitigation measures).

I-SEM HLD: Capacity remuneration Mechanism

The HLD determines that the I-SEM will include an explicit CRM on the basis that an energy-only market will not deliver long term generation adequacy due to perceived risks of missing money in a small island market with increasing variable renewable generation. It is acknowledged that the CRM will need to be implemented in a way to avoid distorting cross border trade and wider European developments on public interventions ensuring adequacy, whilst remaining compatible with EU State Aid rules. The explicit CRM does not preclude targeted contracting mechanisms as a back stop measure to address specific security of supply or other concerns (such as the proposed DS3 mechanism). However, the HLD notes that this would not be sufficient to address the broader issues for generation adequacy.

The CRM will take the form of reliability options ("ROs"), being quantity based financial call options issued by a central party through a competitive auction. The quantity of capacity will be set centrally and the price by the competitive process. Holders of ROs will receive an annual payment in return for the TSO having the right to call on the holder to provide energy at the pre-determined strike price. Where the market reference price is above the strike price, holders of ROs must make a payment equal to the difference. The ROs will be pay-as-cleared and all successful bidders receive the same price for the same option. The HLD provides that equitable treatment of different capacity resources (including cross border participation) will be determined during detailed design. The ROs must be backed up with physical capacity.

This article contains a general summary of developments and is not a complete or definitive statement of the law. Specific legal advice should be obtained where appropriate.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.