Inclusion of the maritime sector in the EU-ETS

The scope of the EU-ETS will be extended as from 2024 to cover CO2 emissions from large ships (above 5000 gross tonnage), regardless of the flag they fly. The extension will include 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.

This will cap 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 will only have to surrender allowances for a portion of their emissions during an initial phase-in period. 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 compliance accounts in the registry is expected to take place early 2024.

More information is provided in the FAQ section of this website.


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