EU Commission approves unbureaucratic offset of alternative aviation fuels for the ETS

The EU Commission decided last week to considerably simplify the verification management for the use of alternative aviation fuels. By passing the Monitoring Regulation for the EU emissions trading system (ETS), the Commission has cleared the way for aviation companies to obtain exemption from the obligation to produce proof in the form of certificates with comparatively low technical and bureaucratic efforts. This exemption may be granted in future based on purchase receipts of sustainably generated biokerosene.

Since January 1st, 2012, aviation companies are obliged to participate in the EU emissions trading system. If an aviation company uses biokerosene with a carbon footprint that is proven to be significantly smaller than that of fossil fuels, it is no longer obliged to submit a certificate for the corresponding quantity.

According to the rules that have applied to date, aviation companies had to prove in detail what quantity of alternative fuels they used for which specific flights. As of January 1st, 2013, it is sufficient if the airline in question provides proof – in form of a purchase receipt – of the quantity fed into the tank system and/or pipeline network to be used by all airlines, which is regulated in Article 53 (3) of the regulation. To harmonise implementation, the guidelines that were announced under Article 53 (4) of the regulation are currently being drafted. Their publication is expected in the coming weeks.

aireg welcomes the decision of the EU Commission as an important contribution towards the implementation of alternative aviation fuels. The economic incentive provided by an exemption from providing proof in the form of certificates alone, however, is not enough to compensate the additional costs that are currently associated with alternative aviation fuel. As part of its new Mobility and Fuels Strategy, the German government has ample opportunities to develop models for further incentives and for the market introduction of alternative aviation fuels.

The Commission`s announcement and the regulation`s text can be found under: