The agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA), which entered into force on 1 January 1994, brings together the 27 EU Members and 3 EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) in a single internal market. It also provides for the extension to the three states ("EEA-EFTA countries") of EU legislation that covers areas such as research and development, education, social policy and the environment. The EU ETS was therefore extended to the EEA-EFTA States in 2007.
The EU legislation on the detailed interpretation of aviation activities has been incorporated into the EEA agreement by the EEA Joint Committee Decisions 6/2011 and 43/2011. The scope of the aviation part of the EU ETS is thus extended to Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, commonly referred to as "EEA-EFTA countries".
The extension of the aviation part of the EU ETS to the EEA–EFTA countries means that these three countries are implementing the EU ETS with the same conditions and timelines as the 27 EU Member States. Thanks to the incorporation of monitoring and reporting legislation into the EEA agreement in 2009, the monitoring and reporting of EEA-EFTA aviation activities started in January 2010.
All aircraft operators, performing flights to and from the three EEA-EFTA countries are affected by the expansion of the scheme and have to take these flights into account in their monitoring and reporting activities. Hence, the monitoring and reporting templates developed by the Commission cover all 30 EEA countries.
As a result of the extension of the aviation part of the EU ETS to Iceland and Norway, the Commission adopted in April 2011 a new list of aircraft operators, specifying the administering State. This list contains 29 EEA countries (EU-27, Iceland and Norway) as no aircraft operators are allocated to Liechtenstein.
A number of aircraft operators previously allocated to one of the EU-27 Member States are re-allocated to Iceland or Norway for administration in the EEA-wide list. A process for the handover of the affected aircraft operators to a new administering country is explained in the Frequently Asked Questions. Certain aircraft operators can request to remain under the administration of their former administering Member State until 2020 at latest, as provided in the Decision of the EEA Joint Committee No 6/2011 of 1 April 2011.
Following the expansion of the system, the historical aviation emissions for the EEA-EFTA countries have been recalculated. They currently include emissions from all domestic flights within the EEA-EFTA States, flights between the EEA-EFTA States and flights between the EEA-EFTA States and third countries during 2004-2006.
The same methodology that was used to calculate historical aviation emissions for EU-27 was applied. After the calculation of the additional historical aviation emissions for the EEA-EFTA countries, the EEA Joint Committee has adopted the decision related to the EEA–wide historical aviation emissions , the quantity of allowances to be granted to aircraft operators free of charge or auctioned and the number of allowances in the special reserve.