On April 27, 2012, the European Commission (EC) announced the full activation of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) single registry. The full activation process will include the migration of over 30,000 EU ETS accounts from national registries.
On May 3, 2012, the EC provided the following transition table in relation to the full activation:
- Starting on May 14, account holders (including aircraft operators) will not be able to open or close accounts or to modify accounts and account representative details, neither in national registries nor in the single registry.
- From June 3, the operation of national registries and the single registry will be suspended simultaneously and account holders will not be able to access registry accounts, including allowances held in these accounts. Data held by the national registers will start to be migrated to the EU registry.
- On June 20, the single registry will be fully activated. Users of existing national registries will be able to use the single registry as soon as they receive their new authentication credentials from their national administrator.
This will impact account holders in two ways. First, account holders will have to comply with increased documentation requirements and security features to access the transferred accounts in the single registry. Second, account holders will not be able to transfer any allowances until all necessary documentation requirements are satisfied.
In addition, the EC announced that in the event that account holders have any questions or difficulties during the transition, national helpdesks will continue to provide support. The Environment Agency will continue to be the national administrator for the UK.
The EC has further stated that the single registry to be activated in June will not contain all the required functionalities for phase III of the EU ETS. A subsequent update will enable phase III auctions, new account categories and a trusted account list. The EC has stated that software development in relation to these updates has been commenced and a timetable will be communicated on July 15, 2012.
Separately, on May 8, 2012, the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change launched a public consultation on the implementation of phase III EU ETS in the UK. The consultation seeks the views of market participants on how the proposed legislative framework should be successfully implemented in the UK. By simplifying the existing legislative framework, market participants will be subject to less of a regulatory burden than has been imposed by the current regime. Market participants wishing to respond have until July 31, 2012 to do so.© 2013 McDermott Will & Emery