Accurate accounting for all allowances issued under the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS) is ensured by the Union registry. The registry keeps track of the ownership of allowances held in electronic accounts in the same way as a bank has a record of all its customers and their money.
Following a revision of the ETS Directive in 2009, EU ETS operations were centralised in a single EU registry operated by the European Commission. The Union registry has replaced Member States' national registries. The single registry covers all 31 countries participating in the EU ETS.
The Union registry is an online database that holds accounts for stationary installations which have been transferred from national registries, as well as accounts for aircraft operators, which have been included in the EU ETS since January 2012.
The registry records:
To participate in the EU ETS a company or a physical person has to open an account in the Union registry.
To open an account, a request must be sent to the relevant national administrator, who is in charge of collecting and verifying all supporting documentation.
The European Union Transaction Log (EUTL) automatically checks, records, and authorises all transactions that take place between accounts in the Union registry. This verification ensures that any transfer of allowances from one account to another is consistent with EU ETS rules.
The EUTL is the successor of the Community Independent Transaction Log (CITL), which had a similar role before the activation of the Union registry.