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EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS)

Reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.

Verification against the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) demonstrates your continued commitment to low carbon emissions.

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What is EU ETS?

The EU ETS involves the allocation and trading of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission allowances throughout the European Union with caps set by each member state. Allowances are then distributed to each installation covered by the scheme.

Introduced in 2013, EU ETS Phase 3 remains in effect until 31 December 2020 and includes harmonised allocation methodologies, additional GHG and emission sources. EU ETS Phase 3 relates to the Commission Regulation (EU) 601/2012 of 21 June 2012 on the Monitoring & Reporting of GHG emissions. EU ETS Phase 3 requires each eligible installation to produce an annual emissions report, which needs an independent verification report submitted to the relevant Regulator between 28 February and the end of March each year (deadline dependent on the Member State in which the installation operates). The report verifies emissions for the previous calendar year; with allowances equal to the verified emissions then surrendered.

EU ETS Phase 4 applies to 2021 to 2030 reporting years and relates to the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/2066 of 19 December 2018 on the Monitoring & Reporting of GHG emissions. The principles of EU ETS Phase 3 remain the same for the fourth period.

EU ETS Annual Verification

LRQA's independent EU ETS Annual Verification service establishes robust, reproducible mechanisms for quantifying, monitoring and reporting your annual GHG emissions.

LRQA supports all types of installation operators who need to meet the EU ETS regulation including those in the chemical, glass, metallurgy, paper and refinery industries; alongside those with fuel combustion of 20MW or greater.

Under EU ETS, operators must submit an annual GHG emissions report, which an accredited body must verify by 31 March the following year. Once verified, operators surrender the equivalent number of allowances by 30 April of that year.

EU ETS Baseline Data Report Verification

LRQA's EU ETS BDR Verification service helps organisations obtain free allocations of emission allowances and meet the European FAR regulation (Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/331 of 19 December 2018 on Free Allocation Rules) through robust, reproducible mechanisms that quantify, monitor and report activity data for each sub-installation.

Emission allowances for phase 4 were initially based upon baseline data (2014–2018) that required verification by an accredited verification body by May 2019. This data submission must be conducted every five years. Under this requirement, operators willing to obtain free allocations must have their free allocation of emission allowances verified by an accredited body at the same periodicity.

Benefits of EU ETS

Stakeholder confidence

Verification to EU ETS demonstrates that your organisation meets GHG emissions targets.

Reduce costs

You can benefit from selling any surplus credits your organisation no longer needs.

Minimise risk

By identifying deficiencies against EU ETS requirements with a phased verification, you can minimise the risk of non-compliance.

Need help with EU ETS?

Whether your organisation is new to the EU ETS or has moved from Phase 3, LR’QAs independent third-party verification can help you meet your mandatory reporting requirements. LRQA provides annual verification, BDR verification, NER verification, ALR verification, as well as gap analysis.

We were one of the first verification bodies to gain accreditation for EU ETS, and our two-stage verification enables us to minimise your risk of non-compliance while reducing disruption to your operations.

Why work with us?

Technical expertise

LRQA verifiers are management systems experts, qualified in all aspects of emissions verification guaranteeing a comprehensive audit of your operations.

Unrivalled experience

We assess and verify high-profile clients across the waste management, utilities, metallurgy, oil & gas, nuclear and government sectors with our depth of knowledge being a direct benefit to your organisation.


We maintain our impartiality by proactively managing conflicts of interest across all LRQA businesses including those which may exist between consultancy and third-party certification services. Click here to learn more

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