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EU ETS data handling for Phase II (2008-2012)

The Monitoring and Reporting Guidelines state in section 8 of Annex I that the European Commission can establish an electronic standard protocol for reporting of emissions from operators and aircraft operators.

More specifically, Annexes XIV and XV of the MRG (the annexes for Monitoring and Reporting from aviation activities) state: “The competent authority may require the aircraft operator to use an electronic template for submission of the [monitoring plan][report]. The Commission may publish a standardised electronic template or file format specification. In this case the competent authority shall accept the use by the aircraft operator of this template or specification, unless the competent authority’s template requires at least the same data input.”

Please note that all references to Member States in the templates should be interpreted as including all the 30 EEA States at the time. In phase II the EEA comprised the 28 EU Member States except Croatia (which did not join the EU until 1 July 2013), plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

The competent authority in the administering Member State may have published a customised version of these templates. A list of contact points of competent authorities as well as a list indicating the administering Member State for each aircraft operator can be found in the Aircraft operators and their administering Member States documentation page.

Data exchange formats for EU ETS Phase II


The revised EU ETS Directive states in Article 14(4): “The Regulation referred to in paragraph 1 may include requirements on the use of automated systems and data exchange formats to harmonise communication on the monitoring plan, the annual emission report and the verification activities between the operator, the verifier and competent authorities."

Development and content of the EU ETS Reporting Language

In order to prepare such data exchange format, the Commission has been working together with consultants (PricewaterhouseCoopers supported by Innofactor) on the development of an XML schema for monitoring plans, annual emission reports etc., in order to allow for the development of fully automated workflows between operators, aircraft operators, verifiers and competent authorities.

The EU ETS Reporting Language was developed with a Technical Working Group consisting of various emissions trading specialists from multiple Member States and representatives of the European Commission. In its current form, it does not include any software functionality in order to handle the messaging below. It defines the content, structure and format of the data to be transmitted.

The EU ETS Reporting Language consists of seven messages (between operators and Competent Authorities), which can be created with two schemas, namely:

  1. Permit request, for requesting greenhouse gas emissions permits for stationary installations pursuant to Articles 4 and 5 of the EU ETS Directive, and for submission of monitoring plans by aircraft operators (Art.3g);
  2. Permit update, for updating an existing permit (installations only);
  3. Permit cancellation, for cancelling an existing permit or rejection of monitoring plans;
  4. Monitoring plan update, for updating only the monitoring plan (in the case of stationary installations this can leave the associated permit unchanged);
  5. Annual emissions report, for reporting annual emissions for a stationary installation or for an aviation operator; includes the possibility to report tonne-kilometre data;
  6. Emissions report update, for correcting a submitted report;
  7. Verified emissions report, for adding information from the verification as a part of an annual emissions or tonne-kilometre report.

Description of the EU ETS Reporting Language

The description of the EU ETS Reporting Language consists of two specific parts, namely technical (for developers) and visual (for others). This last part enables non-IT-professionals to look at the content of the EU ETS Language, without having to go into the technical details of the XSD and XML files. The technical part can be used by developers in order to build or adapt software to handle the messages.

a) the (technical) schemas

The EU ETS Reporting Language has been created using the XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) framework, which is an open data standard for business reporting. Technically, the EU ETS Reporting Language consists of two schemas (EUETSRequest and EUETSReport - the XSD-documents) and two label linkbase files for both EUETSRequest and EUETSReport (the XML-documents). The EUETSRequest and EUETSReport schemas specify the elements in technical terms and the label linkbases contain the semantical descriptions of the elements, as defined by the XBRL specifications.

Customised attributes have been implemented for both EUETSRequest and EUETSReport schemas, to enable flagging of any element as confidential in the instance files created according to the EU ETS Reporting Language. Furthermore the technical part consists of a specification of code lists, which are used in the case where a specific number of inputs are possible for a certain data element. Finally, a document is included that states the optionality of all data elements in the schema’s in the case of specific messages. 

Please find all relevant technical schemas below:

b) visual representations

In order to easily view the content of the "EU ETS Reporting Language" a number of visual representations have been produced. The documents below contain a number of visual representations, namely tree-views of the Reporting Language schema's and summarising Entity-Relationship Diagrams (ERD's) and a semantics overview. The tree-views represent the reporting language data elements and structure. A further table is presented, in which the semantic descriptions (contained in the label linkbase files) are presented side-by-side with the element names from the schemas.

All relevant visual representations are listed below:

Questions on the EU ETS Reporting Language

For any questions regarding the EU ETS Reporting Language, or to report errors or requests for improvement, please contact