WASHINGTON–European insurance regulators are making progress in developing an suitable approach to be used in determining whether the European and U.S. regulatory systems are equivalent, according to officials of the American Insurance Association, Washington.

The progress stems from a new technical advice document crafted by the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervision.

The European insurance regulators adopted a flexible approach to equivalence requiring strict compliance only with fundamental principles and objectives, including confidentiality of sensitive information, according to David Snyder, an AIA vice president and associate general counsel who is monitoring work on the joint approach.

“We very much appreciate the openness and transparency that has marked this process so far,” Snyder said. “We had a chance to hear presentations and submit comments, and the final letter and advice reflect much of this input.”

The work is being undertaken by the European insurance regulators at the request of the European Commission.

The regulators delivered to the commission its advice paper and related cover memorandum regarding Level 2 implementation measures in assessing equivalence under the Solvency II Directive.

The document was released following months of dialogue and discussion with European Union and 3rd country stakeholders, Mr. Snyder said.

The letter transmitting the advice document to the European Commission also referred to many of the important issues that AIA raised, starting with the need to avoid adding burdens to the tens of billions of dollars in trans-Atlantic insurance commerce.

Otherwise, the public on both continents will lose in terms of less or more expensive coverage, Snyder said.

He said the AIA is “pleased” that the European insurance regulators “recognized the need to consider a transitional period, timing and a qualified equivalence finding until certain reforms are put in place in the U.S.”