The Commission has decided to temporarily suspend processes related to the United Kingdom (UK) in the Union Registry and adopted an amendment to the EU ETS Registry Regulation to lift the marking of allowances issued by the UK during the transitional period in case of ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement.
The suspension of UK-related processes in the Union registry takes account of the fact that, on the basis of the current legislation, from 1 January 2019, any allowances issued by the UK would need to be identified by a country code (‘marked’) and excluded from surrender.
To prevent the temporary issuance and circulation of marked allowances until there is clarity on whether or not a Withdrawal Agreement will be ratified and enter into force, the Commission has decided in coordination with Member States to temporarily suspend the acceptance by the Union Registry of all processes for the UK relating to free allocation, auctioning and the exchange of international credits.
Consequently, from 1 January 2019 onwards the UK will not be able to auction allowances, allocate allowances for free to operators or exchange international credits for as long as this suspension remains in place. Transfers of allowances already in circulation in and out of accounts held by UK operators will not be affected by this suspension.
One day after both the UK and the EU have deposited their instruments of ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement with the Secretary-General of the Council the suspension will automatically be lifted.
To prepare for the transitional period envisaged in the draft Withdrawal Agreement, today the Commission has also adopted an amendment to the EU ETS Registry Regulation. Pursuant to this amendment, from the day after both the UK and the EU have deposited their instruments of ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement with the Secretary-General of the Council, the marking and the exclusion for surrender of allowances issued by the UK will be lifted.
In case of the Withdrawal Agreement under which UK operators remain subject to EU ETS compliance obligations for emissions in the years 2019 and 2020, the marking and the exclusion from surrender of allowances issued by the UK would no longer be necessary to safeguard the environmental integrity of the EU ETS.
This amendment to the Registry Regulation has now been submitted to the European Parliament and Council. Provided that these institutions do not raise any objections, the amendment will be published and enter into force within two months.
Further information on these measures is provided in the Notice to stakeholders on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS).