Enforcement by the NEa targets the prevention and elimination of violations, thereby aiming to ensure compliance with laws and regulations. Companies are linked together under the emissions trading system (EU ETS), which involves (sometimes large) financial interests. The NEa's enforcement actions are aimed at safeguarding the reliability of this system.
The NEa maintains the following principles when carrying out its enforcement activities:
- The NEa does all it can to promote compliance using preventive measures.
- The NEa treats all companies fairly and equally, meaning that its decisions are made with care and uniformity.
- Any sanctions are proportional to the relevant violations.
- Imputability plays a large role in punitive sanctions (administrative fines), unless legislation dictates otherwise, e.g. in violations of the obligation to surrender allowances.
Advice and support
The NEa organises regular information events, symposiums and training courses to ensure that companies remain well-informed of their obligations. The NEa has also put together a range of resources that companies can use to help comply with legislation. In addition, the NEa is always ready to provide companies with tailored information on their obligations, and to offer concrete support. Companies that are new to an emissions trading system receive special attention and support from the NEa, in the form of ‘compliance assistance’.
Information and support services do not alter the participating companies' responsibilities. The NEa has a range of intervention instruments available for when violations are identified (despite all information activities).