CO2 registry phase 4 – changes

In 2021, the new trading period of the EU ETS will start. This phase will run from 2021 until 2030. As a result of the new Commission Regulation establishing a Union Registry coming into force as of 1 January, a number of changes will be taking place in the CO2 registry that we will be keeping you abreast of in the Registry Journals and through our website. Please find a list of the most important changes below.

Account settings

The new version of the registry will see the introduction of a number of options to set up your account in the CO2 registry. These options include account settings that make it easier to carry out certain transactions. One of these changes relates to transfers to non-trusted accounts. In the current version of the CO2 registry, emission allowances cannot be transferred from accounts, except for trading accounts, to accounts that are not on the trusted account list. In the new version of the registry, it will also be possible to transfer emission allowances from aviation and other operator holding accounts to non-trusted accounts, provided the account holder has consented to this.

Another key change will be the ability to choose the two-eyes or four-eyes principle in relation to transactions in the CO2 registry. Your company will be able to choose to allow transactions to the trusted account to be carried out without the approval of a second person. Surrender transactions and voluntary cancellation transactions will also fall under this setting. The default setting will be four-eyes principle.

Account holders will be able to inform the NEa of these settings through a change request.

Ability to abort transactions during the delay period

From January, registry users will be able to abort transactions that were entered incorrectly during the delay period. This may take place up to two hours before the transaction was to be processed in the registry. Transactions that were processed immediately by the registry cannot be aborted.

User roles

In the new version of the registry, there will be a name change for the user roles. Also, a single user may have multiple authorizations. This means that from 2021, users will be able to be both account representatives and approvers at the same time. The table shows the default migration of user roles and the authorizations per role.

User roles - CO2 registry
Name of former role Name of new role Authorisation(s)
Account representative (account without approver) Process initiator and approver May initiate and approve actions
Account representative (account with approver) Process initiator only May initiate actions
Approver Process approver only May approve transactions
Passive account representative Read only authorized representative May only review the account

* Actions include both transactions and additions to the trusted account list.

No changes for Kyoto accounts

The new Commission Regulation establishing a Union Registry does not apply to Kyoto accounts. This means that technical registry aspects will remain the same with regard to this type of account, with aspects such as delay periods for transactions, the names of user roles and the absence of account settings remaining unchanged.

Adjusted delay periods for transactions

As part of the simplification of the system, the current 26-hour delay period will be changed. From January, transactions subject to a delay will always be processed at 12:00 CET:

  • on the following working day if approved before 12:00;
  • on the following working day if approved after 12:00.

The same rules will remain in place for transactions that are not subject to a delay: if they are approved between 10:00 and 16:00, they will be processed immediately. Transactions approved outside this period of time will be processed at 10:00 the following working day.

Please find all the information on the processing of transactions in the CO2 registry in this background document.

Person holding accounts (PHA) become Trading accounts (TA)

From the new trading period onwards, person holding accounts (PHA) will be automatically converted to trading accounts (TA). As a result, there will be minor changes in the processing of transactions. For example TAL-transactions will be processed immediately instead of after a delay period. Account holders will be able to configure the account settings, as described under the ‘Account settings’ heading, according to their needs.

The European Commission has published a document containing frequently asked questions about the CO2 Registry in phase 4.