The deadline to apply the SEPA rules has been postponed

European Commission has decided to give a 6-month additional extension for the SEPA rules –in which the obligation to use the IBAN code is included- to be applied, so they will be in force from 1st August 2014 on. 

Initially these rules had to be applicable on 1st February 2014. However, since most companies have not completed their processes of adaptation yet and, consequently, the percentage of transactions according to the new rules were extremely low and it could bring a risk of blocking for the payments and charges, European Commission proposed the European Council and Parliament to postpone the initial deadline (see the text of the proposal here: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-6_en.htm?locale=en). Both institutions must approve this proposal before the 1st February, but if they do not make it on time, the moratorium will be applied retroactively.

During the 6-month extension, the present system and SEPA one will coexist. Those banks and companies that are already adapted to SEPA will be able to use it, those who have not will have time until August to do it. So, payments made until 1st August 2014 which do not fulfil SEPA rules will be accepted as well.