ESEF Illustrated Taxonomy – Draft

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has developed a Regulatory Technical Standard (RTS) draft setting the electronic reporting format where issuers will prepare their annual financial reports (AFRs) from 1 January 2020.

In addition, ESMA has published a report where they explain the background, the steps followed to develop ESEF and a summary of the field tests, and annexs.

Here, you cand find the whole final report about ESEF published by ESMA.


It contains a chronological summary about every single step since the need to establish a digital report of the financial statements to the implementation of ESEF after 2020 was raised.

Implementing technical specifications

The report deals with the following sub-themes; and the steps followed to develop the detailed technical specifications necessary for the implementation of the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF).

  • Assessment of implementation options.
  • Development of the implementing technical specifications.

Field tests

In this section, ESMA briefly summarises the field tests conducted for the purpose of testing the technical solution proposed in the draft RTS.

The field tests were designed as a hands-on exercise in which IFRS consolidated financial statements of 25 European volunteer issuers were transformed into Inline XBRL according to ESMA’s draft ESEF specifications. For this purpose, ESMA organised six on-site workshops that lasted 1.5 days each where XBRL experts provided by ESMA supported the participating issuers to create IFRS consolidated financial statements in Inline XBRL format.

The conclusions of the field tests were used to further improve the draft specifications.


  1. I Annex – Legislative mandate to develop a draft RTS on ESEF
  2. II Annex – Draft RTS on ESEF
  3. III Annex – Study on Assessment of Implementation Approaches
  4. IV Annex – ESMA Field Test Report

We will be attentive to every new movement that occurs in ESEF news by ESMA and we will continue to report on this.