On 7 July, the EU revised and updated its 1 Jan 2021 Readiness Notice on the EUETS (EU carbon trading) (previously dated 19 Dec 2018). This updated Notice is here.
Amongst the list of instructions are :
(1) Operators of stationary installations in the UK and aircraft operators where the UK is the administering EU member state – to continue holding emission allowances after 30 April 2021 – must open a trading account in the Union Registry administered by an EU Member State and move their assets to this account.
(2) They must also – ensure that their annual emission reports are verified by verifiers established in the EU and accredited by the national accreditation body of an EU Member State.
Please note the Notice also sets out specific restrictions that will apply in Northern Ireland from 1 Jan 2021.
As a result, the UK has updated (19th August) its pre-existing instructions on meeting climate change requirements (covering emissions trading, ecodesign and energy labelling) previously issued on 12 October 2018. Note: the EU does not have 1 Jan 2021 Readiness Notices on ecodesign or energy labelling (only on EMAS and the EU Ecolabel).
The UK instructions are here. I Blog posted about these instructions at the time in 2018.
Key points : (taking account of the EU Readiness Notice)
(1) UK stationary installation operators and aircraft operators will continue to have access to Operator Holding Accounts and Aircraft Operator Holding Accounts administered by the UK for 2020 compliance obligations, up to and including 30 April 2021. Access to accounts after this date may no longer be possible.
Where applicable, operators should confirm with their traders that delivery of allowances will be possible from 1 January 2021 to ensure sufficient allowances are available to enable compliance with surrender obligations for 2020 emissions.
(2) Holders of Trading Accounts, Person Holding Accounts, Person Accounts in National Kyoto Protocol Registry and Former Operator Holding Accounts in the UK section of the Union Registry should plan for a loss of registry access from 1 January 2021.
(3) Free allowances will need to be allocated by the National Administrator on or before 31 December 2020 (the end of the transition period) subject to any changes being agreed by the European Commission in a Commission decision meeting.
(4) The deadlines for UK operators participating in the EU ETS during the transition period are:
• 31 March 2021 – submit Verified Annual Emissions Report for 2020 emissions
• 30 April 2021 – surrender equivalent allowances to 2020 verified emissions
NOTE : The temporary suspension by the European Commission on the processes relating to the UK registry was lifted on 3 February 2020 and the UK commenced the process of issuing 2019 and 2020 free allocation, as well as resuming auctions. The lifting of the suspension also allowed UK stationary installation operators and aircraft operators to regain the ability to use their entitlement in the Union Registry to exchange international credits for EU ETS allowances.
(5) Account holders who use their accounts to hold and trade Certified Emission Reductions and Emission Reduction Units will continue to be able to access their accounts within the UK’s Kyoto Protocol National Registry until 1 January 2021. As of 1 January 2021 (the day following the end of the transition period), account holders will no longer have access to these accounts.
The UK government is procuring a new system to enable account holders to hold and trade Certified Emission Reductions and Emission Reduction Units, which we expect to be operational in Spring 2021. Businesses with accounts in the Kyoto Protocol National Registry should consider taking action to manage the risks created by a short gap in service before the new system is implemented. For example, affected business could consider opening an account in another country’s registry to hold and trade Certified Emission Reductions and Emission Reduction Units during this period.
EU PRODUCT DATABASE (this is not an EU Readiness Notice, so this UK information derives directly)
(1) In terms of the EU product database:
• all consumers will still have access to the ‘open’ section of the database
• however, the UK’s Market Surveillance Authorities will no longer have access to the ‘closed’ compliance section of the database.
There will be changes for UK and EU suppliers regarding the EU product database. UK and EU suppliers placing relevant energy-using products:
• on the EU market will have to enter relevant information into the database
• on the UK market will not be required, under domestic law, to enter relevant information into the database, including for those products placed on the market between 1 August 2017 and 1 January 2019 after 1 January 2021.
UK and EU suppliers must ensure that relevant energy-using products:
• placed on the UK market comply with minimum UK Ecodesign and Energy Labelling standards
• placed on the EU market comply with minimum EU Ecodesign and Energy Labelling standards
UK and EU retailers must ensure that relevant energy-using products:
• placed on the UK market comply with minimum UK Energy Labelling standards
• placed on the EU market comply with minimum EU Energy Labelling standards
RE standards – All EU ecodesign and energy labelling requirements which enter into force and apply before 31 December 2020 will have effect in the UK. Further legislation is being prepared to ensure that all of these requirements continue to function in the UK from 1 January 2021.
Please clarify any gaps e.g. verification of annual emission reports, and the specifics applying in Northern Ireland, with the UK government department BEIS.