AMF doctrine: latest ESG disclosure requirements for UCITS and retail AIFs in France

24 August 2020

In March 2020, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) published Position-Recommendation 2020-03 on the "information to be provided by collective investment schemes incorporating non-financial approaches" (the AMF doctrine or doctrine). The doctrine was subsequently updated in July 2020.

The AMF doctrine applies to all French AIFs and UCITS, as well as non-French UCITS, that are authorised to be marketed to French retail investors.

The doctrine aims to prevent the risk of greenwashing by requiring that information provided to investors regarding a given fund’s consideration of non-financial characteristics (e.g. ESG criteria such as responsible, sustainable, ethical or low carbon investing) is proportionate to the actual consideration of these factors. The policy consists of eight "positions" (five of which relate directly to non-French UCITS) and 10 recommendations to define the clear, accurate and non-misleading nature of information to be disclosed. Specifically, the doctrine introduces the following:

  • disclosure obligations in marketing documentation depending on the fund approach – funds can be categorised as either "significantly engaging", "non-significantly engaging" or "not meeting central or limited communication standards";
  • specific disclaimers for non-French UCITS – required in marketing documentation where a non-French UCITS does not comply with the doctrine; and
  • new notification form for non-French UCITS – required for a non-French UCITS wanting to reference non-financial characteristics as a key element of its marketing communications. This form must be filed as part of the passport notification file sent to the AMF.

Timeline for implementation

  • Applies immediately for newly created funds or where notification of cross-border marketing of non-French UCITS is to be amended after 27 July 2020. 
  • Applies from 30 September for existing funds already marketed in France between 12 March and 27 July 2020.
  • Applies from 10 March 2021 for existing funds already marketed in France before 11 March 2020.

For further information on the AMF doctrine, please do not hesitate to get in touch.