From 1 January 2024, the EU ETS (European Union Emissions Trading System) will come into force, a regulation that refers to the greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme created by the European Union to combat climate change. A pioneering scheme, the ETS is the world’s first emissions trading scheme applicable to all 27 EU Member States, plus Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland.

From that day on, shipping companies will have to rigorously monitor their emissions to ensure the required environmental compliance. The proportion of CO2 emissions to be covered by allowances increases gradually each year, by 2025 40% of reported emissions must be covered, by 2026 70% and from 2027 onwards 100% of emissions must be reported.

The keys to the EU ETS

Shipping companies covered by the EU ETS must have an approved monitoring plan for reporting annual emissions. Each year, companies must submit a report on emissions from each of the ships under their responsibility.

How is this data checked? A particular year’s records need to be validated by an accredited body by 31 March of the following year, or by 28 February if required by the relevant administrative authority. Once verified, companies must surrender or use the appropriate number of allowances by 30 September of the same year.

Smart Logistics, as an integrated logistics operator, is aware of the relevance and impact of these new regulations on the maritime sector and the environment. The ability to adjust to the new regulations with flexibility and commitment is a key element in the company’s strategy.

Its impact on the maritime sector

According to some studies, the implementation of the EU ETS could lead shipping companies to make a first stop in North Africa, the Adriatic Sea, the United Kingdom or the Eastern Mediterranean in order to avoid the costs of the levy. A situation that worries the representatives of some Spanish ports because it could lead to a flight of calls to other ports outside the European area, or to a decrease in transhipments.

Within the framework of the international meeting “The challenge of the ETS for European ports”, presidents and managers of these enclaves have demanded a greater involvement of the IMO. A measure which could attenuate the effects on the loss of stable jobs and business relocation which could occur with the entry into force of the new Emissions Trading Scheme in the European Union.