The European Emissions Trading System (EU-ETS), applicable to the aviation sector since 2012, (Directive 2008/101/EC) is currently in force in what is known as Phase III, which covers the period 2013-2020 a.i.

    The European Emissions Trading System is a scheme by which the European Union establishes a gap or “ceiling” of emissions from the aviation sector with respect to the reference period from 2004-2006. Specifically for the period 2013-2020 (Phase III), this ceiling was set at 95 % of the emissions in the reference period (2004-2006). 

    A percentage of these benchmark emissions are distributed free of charge by the European Union in the form of carbon credits (1 tn CO2 = 1 carbon credit) among air operators subject to EU-ETS obligations in proportion to their activity in 2010. 

    On an annual basis, any air operator attached to Spain must submit to the competent authority (Ministry of Public Works and Spanish Climate Change Office) an Emissions Report corresponding to the previous year, showing the emissions caused by flights subject to the EU — ETS scheme, delivering as many carbon rights as emissions. 

    If the reported emissions are higher than the free allocation received, the difference in the trading market is to be acquired, either from air operators with surplus allowances, or from other industries included in the EU — ETS, such as the electricity or cement industry.
    The European Emissions Trading Scheme applies today (Regulation (EU) 2017/2392) and until 2023 to all domestic flights and all flights between airports in the European Economic Area, EEA; (28 EU + Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway members), in both cases excluding flights to and from ultra-peripheral regions (Canary Islands in the case of Spain).

Reference regulations

Obligated subjects and guide for operators

    The obligations arising from the EU ETS scheme apply to any air operator, regardless of nationality, operating flights between airports in the European Economic Area, unless they fall within the exclusion categories set out in Annex I to Directive 2003/87/EC.
    Please find below a short guide for air operators, where you can find the inclusion and exclusion criteria in the scheme, the obligations arising therefrom, as well as the deadlines for compliance and the templates required to comply with these obligations.

Documentation useful for the EU ETS application. Templates, calendar, etc.

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