Check for legal obligations under EU ETS, UK ETS and CORSIA
It is important to check your obligations under various reporting regulations on a regular basis. Your airline may plan to expand and start new routes to Europe or the United Kingdom, or maybe you are a domestic airline that aims to operate international destinations and will be subjected to CORSIA if emissions are more than 10,000 tCO2 over a given monitoring period.
The UK ETS regulation came into force at the beginning of 2021 and has completed one reporting period. If you operate flights within the United Kingdom or flights from the United Kingdom to an EEA Member State, you may be subject to the UK ETS (except flights to/from Guernsey, Jersey, and the Isle of man).
It is important to know the key facts about the full scope, as exemptions are mostly based on the full scope matrix.
In simple words, the UK ETS full scope is the former EU ETS full scope.
All flights to/from the United Kingdom (and Gibraltar), all flights to/from EEA Member Countries (including all flights to/from territories of EEA Member Countries and all flights to/from EEA outermost regions). For example, Dubai to Madrid, Milan to Washington D.C, Mayotte to Nairobi, and Martinique to Caracas can be considered UK ETS full-scope flights even though they are not arriving/departing from any UK airports.
The UK ETS Aviation Activity Scope (i.e., reportable flights) includes:
- All flights departing from the United Kingdom and arriving in EEA Member Countries (excluding outermost regions).
- All flights within the United Kingdom.
- All flights between the United Kingdom and Gibraltar, and
- All flights departing from the United Kingdom and arriving at offshore installations of EEA Member Countries/United Kingdom that are outside territorial waters (e.g., oil and gas production or exploration platforms).
If you believe you are exempt from UK ETS, then double-check that you are meeting one of the 3 relevant thresholds described below.
- Fewer than 243 full-scope flights per period for 3 consecutive 4-month periods i.e., (January -April), (May-August), (September-December) or
- Less than 10,000 tCO2 emissions on the full scope, or
- No UK ETS aviation activity.
- Less than 1000 tCO2 on the full scope, or
- No UK ETS aviation activity.
Operators are subject to the UK ETS, even if they operated only one flight that falls under the UK ETS Aviation Activity and have UK ETS full scope emissions above the threshold specified above. If you have operated flight/s falling under UK ETS Aviation activity, please apply for a monitoring plan with the UK regulator within 42 days of the first UK ETS flight. The regulator may take up to two months to approve your monitoring plan. Operators can use any of the five ICAO Fuel Use Monitoring Methods to calculate fuel consumption under UK ETS.
Once the above conditions for applicability are met, operators are required to comply irrespective of when the first UK ETS aviation flight took place and irrespective of the reasons for which it took place. Therefore, scheduled operations starting in December, and diverted flights falling under UK ETS aviation activity also have to be promptly reported once the regulator has approved the submitted Emissions Monitoring Plan (EMP). Failure to comply with the UK ETS regulations will open operators up to severe civil penalties and fines.
If you are subject to the EU ETS then it’s most likely you are also subject to the UK ETS!
It is important to note that from the autumn of 2022, the UK regulator is planning to launch a new digital platform for permitting, monitoring, reporting, and verification (PMRV) that will replace the existing ETSWAP system. This launch will be done in phases, starting from autumn 2022 (final dates to be released after government approval of the system). For the aviation industry, the ETSWAP system will be deactivated once the PMRV system is in place (scheduled for autumn 2023).
Monitoring Plan Amendment and Improvement Reports:
Airlines that already have an approved monitoring plan for EU ETS, UK ETS, and CORSIA, may wish to or be required to update their existing approved monitoring plans due to changes in processes or systems, or in case of non-compliances that were raised in previous verifications. If this is the case, please update the monitoring plan and get it approved by the relevant authority.
Improvement reports under EU ETS and UK ETS are to be filed by end of June. Please check your opinion statement provided by the verifier for the 2021 reporting year and if you have any recommendations/non-compliances/non-conformities, it is mandatory to submit this report before the 30th of June 2022. This report along with acknowledgment/remarks/feedback by your competent authority will be requested by your verifier before the start of next year’s verification.
Some operators report to countries that use online platforms such as DEHSt for Germany or SiliAmb for Portugal, which may require unique sign-in processes that involve physical card readers, etc. You can get in touch with your authority and prepare for any such requirements in advance as it may take some time to sort out logistical challenges.
Control Activities - June to December:
In verification, data quality plays an important role. Good data quality provides for a smoother and quicker verification process and such data quality is only achieved by regular checks (i.e., weekly/monthly/quarterly) performed by a dedicated team. It’s very difficult to perform all the checks at the end of the year as it would be a huge amount of data and will require a great amount of time and resources.
Please make use of the following tips, perform these checks on a regular basis, and maintain its evidence trail:
- Prepare partial flight data along with fuel consumption calculations and respective emissions for 6-9 months and request an internal audit by a technical team within the airline. Respond to their observations/identified issues (if any) and maintain the report. Please submit this report to your verifier before the start of next year’s verification.
- Cross check for completeness of flights using third-party data like Eurocontrol, National ATC, or FlightRadar24. You need to compare the number of flights recorded in their data and your data on a comparable scope.
- You can also perform continuity checks for all tail numbers in your fleet. It’s important to have flights in the correct sequence as certain Fuel consumption methods require data points from the correct previous or next flights. It’s also a great method to check if flights are missing or duplicated in your data.
- In addition, please make a note of wet-leased flights and their data points. Please make sure they are available and included in the master data.
- If you have any exempted flights, please keep the ATC flight plans proving their exemption.
- In addition to completeness and continuity checks, fuel quantity checks, and calculated fuel consumption checks; other checks can be performed. To name a few, you can check for irregular/negative/zero values, compare fuel figures to tank capacity, etc.
Take note that Verifavia also offers a continuous verification service, in which an independent verification of your data can be performed monthly/quarterly/semi-annually. Click here to read more on some of our other services.
For the reporting period of 2022, make sure you have downloaded the correct edition of ICAO’s “CORSIA States for Chapter 3 State Pairs” that was published in July 2021. The document can be found here.
Data Gap Threshold:
Get to know about offsetting requirements by downloading the second edition from Chapter 3 state pairs that was published in July 2021, and check if you exceed the data gap threshold. If you do, get in touch with the authority and explain to them the reason it was exceeded. Keep a copy of all evidence shared with your authority and their feedback.
CORSIA offsetting calculation:
Be reminded that during the pilot phase (2021-2023), offsetting will be based on 100% sectoral growth rates. The calculation for offsetting requirements is as follows:
By 30 November 2022, your authority is to inform you of the offsetting requirements for the period of 2021, which is to be added to the future 2022 and 2023 offsetting requirements and is to be offset in 2024.
A few key dates to mark on your calendar:
- 30 June 2022 - Deadline to submit an improvement report or updated Emissions Monitoring Plan under the EU ETS and UK ETS schemes, if applicable.
- Mid-December 2022 - Complete contract/agreement formalities with your verifier if not already done.
- End of December 2022 - You would receive an audit preparation letter from Verifavia.
- 15 January 2023 - Submit Data and Documents once December data gets ready and merged with all other 11 months. Do not wait till the last day to submit the data as data/report verification is an iterative process.
- 31 March 2023 - Deadline to submit a verified Annual Emissions Report under the EU ETS and UK ETS schemes for the 2022 reporting period.
- 30 April 2023 - Deadline to surrender allowances under the EU ETS and UK ETS Schemes for the 2022 reporting period.
- 30 April 2023 - Deadline to submit a verified CORSIA Emissions Report for the 2022 reporting period.