The Minister of State has this week (6th December) laid a Statutory Instrument in parliament to amend the “Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Regulations 2012”. The proposed amendment is the result of a broad consultation with industry and brings forward the dates for both submitting verified emissions and the subsequent surrender of EU ETS allowances.
Submission of verified emissions reports will now be due by Monday 11th March 2019 rather than the usual 31st March deadline. Whilst this reduces the reporting timescale by a little under three weeks, operators will only have four days in which to then surrender allowances. The new surrender deadline of Friday 15th March 2019 is a full six weeks ahead of the usual 30th April deadline.
The implications are that operators (and their verifiers) will need to plan their compliance timetables well and in particular, the purchase of additional allowances for surrender in a short time window. The future of UK participation in EU ETS remains subject to negotiations but is likely to see the UK continue to participate on the same terms until the end of the current compliance phase in 2020.