Today, the instruments of ratification of both Parties to the Withdrawal Agreement were deposited with the Secretary-General of the Council and the Withdrawal Agreement will enter into force on 1 February 2020. This Agreement ensures that UK operators remain subject to EU ETS compliance obligations for emissions in the years 2019 and 2020. Therefore, it is no longer necessary to maintain the suspension of relevant processes for the UK. In accordance with legal provisions in force, the suspension will no longer apply and allowances issued by the UK in respect of 2019 and 2020 will not be identified by a country code nor be excluded from use for compliance. This means that from 3 February 2020 all processes for the UK in the Union Registry can again be executed.
The calendars concerning the future auctions of emission allowances by the UK will be established in close cooperation between the UK and the Commission. The auction volumes for the calendar years 2019 and 2020 will be spread over the UK auctions that will take place in 2020. The auctions of general allowances are expected to restart on 4 March 2020. The auctions of aviation allowances are expected to restart on 25 March 2020. The auction calendars will be published once the Commission has carried out its internal processes to approve the issuance of the allowances.
To prevent the temporary issuance and circulation of marked allowances until there was clarity on whether or not a Withdrawal Agreement between the European Union and the UK would be ratified and entered into force, the Commission 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 as of 1 January 2019. Consequently, since 1 January 2019 the UK was not able to auction allowances, allocate allowances for free to operators or exchange international credits.