Inclusion of the maritime sector in the EU-ETS

Since January 1, 2024 the scope of the EU-ETS has been extended to cover CO2 emissions from large ships (above 5000 gross tonnage), regardless of the flag they fly. The extension includes all emissions from ships calling at an EU port for voyages within the EU (intra-EU) as well as (part of) the emissions from voyages starting or ending outside of the EU (extra-EU voyages), and all emissions that occur when ships are at berth in EU ports.

The inclusion caps maritime transport emissions as part of the overall ETS cap, which will result in a price signal that should incentivise improvements in energy efficiency and low-carbon solutions and reduce the price difference between alternative fuels and traditional maritime fuels.

In practice, shipping companies will have to purchase and surrender ETS emission allowances for each tonne of reported CO2 emissions in the scope of the system. Shipping companies will be attributed to an administering authority of a Member State that will ensure compliance using the same rules as for the other sectors.

To ensure a smooth transition, shipping companies only have to surrender allowances for a portion of their emissions during an initial phase-in period:

  • 2025: for 40% of their emissions reported in 2024;
  • 2026: for 70% of their emissions reported in 2025;
  • 2027 onwards: for 100% of their reported emissions.

Moreover a reporting and review clause is included to monitor the implementation of the rules applicable to the maritime sector and to take into account relevant developments at the level of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

The opening of maritime operator holding accounts (MOHA) in the registry is expected to take place early 2024. We will reach out to the maritime operators once the final attribution list will have been published.

More information is provided in the FAQ section of this website and in the FAQ section maintained by the European Commission.


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