Transaction types

Transfers in the Union Register are governed by a regulatory framework. Although it is not always visible in the interface, transfers are handled differently depending on the type of transaction.

Transfers between accounts

Transfers of allowances can be made between accounts in the EU ETS and international credits can, with certain restrictions, be transferred between the EU ETS, The registry under the Kyoto Protocols and possibly other Emissions Trading Systems.

The transfers are carried out by the authorised representative of the transferring account holder who specifies the amount of transfer. How quick a transfer is delivered to the recipient depends on your account type, see Account Types. All transfers also require 2-factor authentication through passwords and a one-time code sent as SMS.

Issuance and allocation

In the second phase of the ETS (2008 – 2012), allowances were issued and allocated by the Member States. The amounts were specified in the National Allocation Plan (NAP) tables and the units were stored on national holding accounts before they were allocated.

In the third phase of the ETS (2013-2020), all allowances are issued by the European Commission in its role as the Central Administrator of the Union Registry. Quantities are specified in national allocation tables (NAT = National Allocation Table) and based on benchmarks. Read more about benchmarks on Naturvårdsverket's website.

The central administrator is responsible for the transfer of allowances to auctions and to facilities that are entitled to free allocation. Member States are responsible for implementing the allocation.

Surrender of allowances

By 30 April each year, operators included in the ETS in the Union Registry must surrender a number of allowances corresponding to the verified emissions for the previous year.

International credits may also be used for surrender but must first be exchanged to allowances, see Exchange of International credits below.

If a sufficient amount of allowances is not surrendered by April 30, a fee of 100 € per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions which is not covered by the surrender. Also, the fee does not remove the obligation to surrender the missing amount at a later date.

Allowances can be used for surrender during the entire trading period. There is no link between which year they are allocated and when they can be surrendered.

Deletion of allowances

Participants in the trading system may choose to voluntarily delete allowances, in other words, permanently remove them from the market as a climate measure. For accounting purposes, any deleted allowances will disappear from the market into a dedicated deletion account. Allowances can never be brought back into the market from the removal account.

Removing allowances from the market reduces the number of allowances available for compensating emissions and, in theory, increases the price of emissions in the ETS.

The term for voluntarily removing allowances in the emissions trading system is "deletion". The corresponding term for the same action in the registry under the Kyoto Protocol is "voluntary cancellation".

Exchange of international credits

International credits such as CER & ERU, which are valid for use in the EU ETS, may be exchanged to allowances by certain operators. This is done through a specific type of transfer which is only available in the interface of the accounts where there is a so-called entitlement to exchange credits. Through the procedure, the credits are transferred to a specific account, after which the corresponding amount of allowances are returned to the account of the initiated transfer.  

For more information on who has the right to exchange international credits, see our information on Exchange of International credits.