Understand and implement the EU Emissions Trading Scheme

Published on Monday 12 October 2020

The European directive 2008/101/EC including aviation activities in the scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance has been applied since 2nd February 2009. Its transposition in the French law (articles L. 229-5 à L. 229-24-2) has been fully completed. This sheet dealing with the Emissions Trading System starts with measures and official documents. It goes on informing operators concerned by this text, then lists processes to be followed and provides templates of monitoring plans and reports.

Main concepts and official documents

Main concepts

The European Directive 2008/101/EC amending directive 2003/87/EC so as to include aviation activities in the scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance has been applied since 2nd February 2009. Its transposition in the French law has been fully completed.

All IFR flights (with an MOTW bigger than 5,7t) to or from the European Economic Area are included in the scope of the Directive. Some flights are exempted from the scheme, for instance, humanitarian ones : the Commission has published a decision detailing these exemptions (Decision 2009/450/EC on the interpretation of the aviation activities). Operators flying with a commercial Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and emitting less than 10 000 tonnes of CO2 per year or performing less than 243 flight during three consecutives four-month periods, are exempted from the EU ETS.

For the aviation sector, there are two distinct periods defined by the Directive :

  • 1st period (phase II) : 2012
  • 2nd period (phase III) : 2013-2020
  • 3rd period (phase IV) : 2021 - 2030

For 2012, the aviation sector allowances’ cap has been set at 97% of the historical emissions (the mean between emissions of 2004, 2005 and 2006). For the next period, the cap has been set at 95%.

The total of emission allowances corresponding to this cap are split in this way :

  • 85% (in 2012) or 82% (from 2013) of the emission allowances are allocated freely each year, proportionnally based on the total activity data (in tonnes-kilometres) reported by each operator in 2010. The Arrêté concerning the allocation of free allowances for aircraft operators has been published in December 2011.
  • 15% are put up for auction.
  • 3% (from 2013) are placed in a special reserve for "new entrants" or "fast-growing" operators.

Main official documents

List of the main official documents (Directives, Decisions, list of aircraft operators...) or pages you may find useful.

French legislation (in French) specific to phase II (2012)

Le champ géographique ETS applicable à compter de 2013

Information about the geographical scope applicable for the EU ETS Aviation

Geographical scope of the EU ETS from 2013

Geographic scope ETS Aviation from 2013

The years 2012-2014 have been characterized by regulatory developments on the EU ETS aviation including Decision No 377/2013/UE called "Stop the clock" as well as the Regulation n° 421/2014 of the European parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2003/87/EC establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community, in view of the implementation by 2020 of an international agreement applying a single global market-based measure to international aviation emissions which was published April 30, 2014 in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

This evolution of the scheme derogates from the initial scope of Directive 2003/87 and results in a restriction of the geographical scope which is applicable from the year 2013.

This adaptation of the scheme comes in response to the ICAO assembly Resolution A38-18 as regards the development of a global market based measures, which should be finalized at the next ICAO Assembly in 2016 and implemented from 2020 onwards.

Geographical scope

This modification of the EU ETS aviation scope aims at restricting the geographical scope of application to the intra-European Economic Area (EEA) flights from 2013. Thus, flights between the EEA and third countries, and vice-versa, do not have to be reported.

You will find below the elements enabling you to clearly identify the new limits of the geographical scope.

List EU Member States and EEA included countries and territories

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

List of other EEA Member States

Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein

Other territories with a special status linked to an EEA Member State

Ceuta, Melilla, Aland Islands, Gibraltar and Jan Mayen.

Overseas territories and Outermost region exclusion

Flights from the EEA to outermost region and from one outermost region to another outermost region must not be reported. However, intra-outermost region flights must be reported.

Overseas territories are not considered as part of the EEA, therefore, no flights from or to those overseas territories have to be reported.

Switzerland

Pursuant to the agreement between the European union and the Swiss Confederation on the linking of their Emissions Trading Scheme, emissions from aircraft operators' flights from the European Union to Switzerland will be subject to the EU-ETS from 1 January 2020.

Exemptions

Non-commercial aircraft operators emitting less than 1000t CO2 emissions per year are exempted from 2013 to 2030.

De Minimis exemption for commercial aircraft operator remains applicable. As a reminder, aircraft operators operating less than 243 flights per period for 3 following period of 4 months and aircraft operator emitting less than 10 000t CO2 emissions per year are concerned.

In both cases, the emission thresholds are calculated on the basis of the Annex 1 scope of the ETS Directive 2003/87, also called « Full scope ».

The coming into effect date

The Regulation n° 421/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2003/87/EC establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community, in view of the implementation by 2020 of an international agreement applying a single global market-based measure to international aviation emissions has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union the April 30, 2014 and enters into force as of this date.

It applies to emissions from 2013 onwards.

The submission of annual emission report

Every year, aircraft operators which are not concerned by the exemptions aforementioned shall provide the DGAC, as the competent authority responsible for implementing the scheme in France, with their annual emissions report based on the geographical scope. The deadline for submitting emissions report for the year is set for March 31 of the following year. The deadline for surrendering allowances for the year has been set for 30 April of the following year. Even if the deadline for submitting the annual emission report emissions is set for March 31 of the following year, a transmission before this date remains possible. The ETS unit (ets.aviation@ aviation-civile.gouv.fr) is at your disposal for any further information and will keep you informed of future developments to consider.

FAQ on EU Emissions Trading Scheme

Monitoring and reporting annual emissions

The ETS scheme set in place on a European level (European directive 2008/101/EC) requires an accurate annual procedure to calculate emissions and transfer these data.
A simplified procedure is available for all aircraft operators considered as low gas emitters.

Before each monitoring period (31st August of the year before the emissions year), the aircraft operators have to submit to the DGAC an annual emissions monitoring plan explaining the processes put in place in order to calculate their emissions. This plan has to be approved by the French Competent Authority, the DGAC. You can check the list published by the European Commission to determine your administering Member State.

The annual emissions monitoring plan has to be updated before each new period. In case of substantial changes in procedures, the AEMP also may have to be updated within a period, and submitted to the Competent Authority for an approval of the update.

After each monitoring year, aircraft operators have to submit to their Competent Authority an annual emissions report before the 31st March of the following year. This report must be verified by an independent verifier before submission.

The monitoring plans and the reports must be completed using standard templates which can be found at the bottom of this page.
These documents have to be submitted to the following email address : ets.aviation@aviation-civile.gouv.fr

Or, failing that, by postal mail to the following address :
DTA-SDD-ETS
50 rue Henry Farman
75720 PARIS CEDEX 15
FRANCE

You can consider that your monitoring plan or report has been submitted successfully only if you receive a message from the EU ETS unit acknowledging receipt of your files.

For further questions or requests, do not hesitate to send an e-mail message to the aforementioned address.

Independent verifiers

Before submitting its annual emissions report, an aircraft operator has firstly to have it verified by a verifier accredited according to the applicable French regulation. The exact role of the verifier is explained in this guidance document written by the European Commission .

Simplified procedures

For small emitters who emit less than 25 000 tonnes of CO2 per year, or perform less than 243 flight during three consecutives four-month periods, or emit less than 3 000 tonnes of CO2 per year within the European Economic Area, a simplified method can be used to calculate their emissions.

This simplified method allows operators to fill up the monitoring plan more easily, and to use a useful calculation tool provided by Eurocontrol : the ETS Support Facility. This tool can pre populate the report template of the AO based on Eurocontrol’s flights data. You can get more information about it at the following address :
www.eurocontrol.int/ets-support-facility

The ETS Support Facility bases its calculation on a tool which estimates emissions using the flight distance and aircraft type : the Small Emitters’ Tool. It is the only tool approved by the Commission for this purpose, and can be used independently from the ETS Support Facility, also that involves more work from the operator. More information about it is given at the following address :
www.eurocontrol.int/small-emitters-tool

Using the simplified procedure also results in simplified verification process. The quick guide to verification of small emitters published by the European Commission briefly explains the differences in verification depending on which tool you use.

 

Account in the European registry

The procedure related to ETD (European directive 2008/101/EC) requires opening an account in the European registry. How to open this account?

Each aircraft operator shall submit to the DGAC a verified emissions report by 31st March of the year following the emissions year. By 30th April of the same year, the AO shall then transfer from its account in the European registry to the Member State’s account a quantity of allowances corresponding to its verified emissions.

Therefore, opening an account with the French national administrator of the European Registry (Caisse des dépôts et consignations - CDC) is a necessary step in this process. This account allows the operator to sell or buy allowances to or from other operators, or to participate in the auctions set up by EEA Member States.

To open its aircraft operator account, an operator has to fill up a form, and submit all the required documents according to the Regulation 1193/2011/EU concerning the Union registry.

The e-mail address to use to contact the CDC is the following :

REGISTRE-AVIATION-FR@caissedesdepots.fr

And the postal address is :
Caisse des dépôts et consignations
15, quai Anatole France
75356 Paris 07 SP
France

The CDC is the unique interlocutor for all registry-related issues, such as account opening documents, account administration or auction.

The account opening and account holding rates for 2015 have been published through the following decree : arrêté du 15 décembre 2015 (in French).

EU ETS aviation civil penalties

Pursuant to the Directive 2003-87/CE of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance and the decision 377/2013/EU of the European Parliament, Aircraft operators, within the scope of the EU emission trading scheme, have the obligation to surrender allowances annually to cover their greenhouse gas emissions.

As a reminder, Aircraft operators have the obligation to surrender allowances annually by 30 April to cover their emissions during the previous calendar year.
The Aircraft operator who fails to surrender sufficient allowances for the year 2012, have to be held liable for the payment of an excess emissions penalty. The excess emissions penalty is 100€ for each tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent emitted for which the operator has not surrendered allowances, according to Article 16 of the Directive 2003-87/CE aforementioned in accordance with the conditions and sanctions provided for in Articles L.229-18 and D. 229-37-10 of the Environment Code.
The Name of the Aircraft operators who are in breach of requirement to surrender sufficient allowances can be found below:

List of Aircraft operator fined for 2012

Name of the aircraft operator

Amount of the penalty

AERO RIO TAXI AEREO LTDA

5 400 €

AIR ASIA

1 200 €

DALLAH ALBARAKA

69 400 €

NATIONAL AIR SERVICE

27 300 €

NY JETS TRANSPORTER

13 500 €

PREMIER AVIATION

37 800 €

REATEX INVEST SA

11 600 €

SCM ARUBA AVV

28 400 €

SHAR INK AIRCOMPANY

2 700 €

SNS IMPORTADORA

10 100 €

SOUTHER CROSS INTL

65 600 €

SOUTHERN CROSS USA

42 700 €

SPRINGWAY LTD

21 800 €

STAR JET LTD

15 100 €

THE YUCAIPA COMPANIES LLC

8 200 €

WADI AVIATION

1 300 €

 

List of Aircraft operator fined for 2013

Name of the aircraft operator

Amount of the penalty
AIR MEDITERRANEE 5 906 680€
MID EAST JET 128 854€
SYPHAX AIRLINES 104 525€
AVIATION LINK 77 793€
SORENS GROUP LTD 58 971€
ALPHA STAR AVTN SVCS 44 754€
PRIVATAIR 42 151€
SPRINGWAY LTD 36 344€
NEXUS FLT OPS SVCS 26 121€
ALATHEER AVIATION 23 128€
SCM ARUBA A.V.V. 19 724€
WADI AVIATION 12 715€
GIV-SP AIR SERVICE 7 008€

List of Aircraft operator fined for 2014

Name of the aircraft operator

Amount of the penalty
AIR MEDITERRANEE 4 968 555€
MID EAST JET 199 840€
AVIATION LINK 106 027€
SYPHAX AIRLINES 91 309€
NATIONAL AIR SERVICE 81 698€
PRIVATAIR 81 698€
ALPHA STAR AVTN SVCS 70 885€
SORENS GROUP LTD 61 073€
WADI AVIATION 35 843€
SCM ARUBA A.V.V. 30 336€
ALATHEER AVIATION 22 827€
SPRINGWAY LTD 18 722€
GIV-SP AIR SERVICE 17 521€
MILLION AIR SALT LAK 3 805€
NEXUS FLT OPS SVCS 3 805€

List of Aircraft operator fined for 2015

Name of the aircraft operator

Amount of the penalty
MATRIX AVIATION 650 56 532 €
NEXUS FLT OPS SVCS 37 386 €
FLY EXEC 32 347 €
SPRINGWAY LTD 20 557 €
SCM ARUBA A.V.V. 15 317 €
SOUTHERN CROSS USA 11 992 €
AMERICAN FLYING JET 8 969 €
WADI AVIATION 4 736 €

List of Aircraft operator fined for 2016

Name of aircraft operator Amount of the penalty
NEXUS FLT OPS SVCS 37 515 €
SFD RUSSIA 3 075 €

List of Aircraft operator fined for 2017

Name of aircraft operator Amount of the penalty
AIR ASIA BERHAD 11 275 €
ALPHA STAR AVTN SVCS 41 615 €
HINSON CORPORATE FLIGHT SERVICES INC. 15 990 €
NEXUS FLT OPS SVCS 37 310 €

List of Aircraft operator fined for 2018

Name of aircraft operator Amount of the penalty
ALTAIR JETS CORP 17 763 €
BUSINESS AIR A.S 46 642 €
NEXUS FLT OPS SVCS 27 320 €
SFD RUSSIA (Special Flight Unit RUSSIA) 3 220 €
SKY PRIME AVTN SRV 30 956 €

Withdrawal of penalty for non-surrender of allowances

For year 2012
NATIONAL AIR SERVICE
NY JETS TRANSPORTER
STAR JET LTD
SHAR INK
 
For year 2013
SORENS GROUP LTD
 
For year 2014
MID EAST JET
SORENS GROUP LTD

 

Special reserve (optional)

From 2013, 3% of the total of allowances for the aviation sector are set aside in a special reserve for operators :

  • who start performing an aviation activity after 2010 ("new entrants"), or
  • whose tonne-kilometre data increases by an average of more than18 % annually between 2010 and 2014, amounting to more than 93.88% cumulated from 2010 to 2014 ("fast-growing" operators).

The free allowances "new entrants" can get from this special reserve are proportional to the 2014 tonne-kilometre data they reported. For "fast-growing" operators, only the tonnes-kilometre data reported over the 18% annual growth limit are taken into account to calculate the free allowances they can get from the special reserve.

The aircraft operators who planned to benefit from the special reserve had until June 30, 2015 to submit their applications. The allowances from the special reserve will be distributed from 2017 to 2020.

Main dates

The European directive 2008/101/EC including aviation activities in the scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance has been deployed from 2010 onwards. Here is a timeline providing past or forthcoming milestones.

Past

  • 1st January 2010: Beginning of the emissions data monitoring and tonne-kilometres data monitoring.
  • 31st March 2011: Deadline to submit a verified emissions report and a verified tonnes-kilometres report and to ask for free allowances for the period 2012 and for the period 2013-2020 (linked to the tonne-kilometre report submission).
  • 2012: First monitoring year leading to the surrendering of allowances.
  • January 2012: Aircraft operators account in the European registries system can be opened, and first allocation of free allowances.
  • 2013: Begining of the phase III (period 2013-2020).
  • 31 March 2013: Deadline to submit a verified emissions report for 2012 emissions.
  • 30 September 2013: Deadline to submit a tonnes-kilometres monitoring plan for new entrants and fast growing aircraft operators.
  • 2014: Monitoring year of tonnes-kilometres data for new entrants and fast growing operators.
  • 2017 : extension of STC until 31 December 2023

Annual deadlines

  • 31st March of the current year: Deadline to submit a verified emissions report for the emissions of the previous year.
  • 30 April of the current year: Deadline to return emission allowances covering the emissions of the previous year.
  • 30 September of the current year: Deadline to submit the improvement report for the aircraft operators who have a verification report where is mentionned a mistatement, a non conformity, a non compliance or a recommandation.
  • 31st December of the current year: The aircraft operator notifies modifications of the monitoring plan that are not significant.

 

Templates of the monitoring plans and reports for phases III and IV

 All up-to-date versions of relevant templates can be found on the European Commission website:

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