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Climate Action

FAQ – Maritime transport in EU Emissions Trading System (ETS)

The following questions and answers are intended to guide shipping professionals in understanding the application of the EU Emissions Trading System to maritime transport. They do not replace the legislation. For further detail, please consult the updated EU Emissions Trading System Directive. The content was last updated 08/02/2024.

Extension of the EU Emissions Trading System to maritime transport

State of play

Timing & scope



Functioning of the EU ETS

General understanding of the system

Buying and surrendering allowances in the Union registry

Key players

Shipping companies and operators

Administering authorities


Sanctions and enforcement

Use of revenues

Specific rules and derogations


Biofuels and other alternative fuels

A Step-by-Step approach for Shipping companies

Step 1: Understand the new requirements and adapt your contract(s)

Step 2: Find out which administering authority is responsible for your company

[See questions on ‘Administering authorities’ for more information]

Step 3: Open an account in the Union Registry

[See questions on ‘Buying allowances and surrendering allowances’ for more information]

Step 4: Update the ship’s monitoring plan and submit it to the verifier and the administering authority

Step 5: Monitor your greenhouse gas emissions

As of 1 January 2024, shipping companies should monitor their emissions in accordance with the revised monitoring plan that should be assessed by verifiers and approved by the administering authority.

Step 6: Prepare your emissions reports and the report at company level and get them verified

Once per year, companies must submit an emissions report for each of the ships under their responsibility, as well an emissions report at the company level (aggregating the data to be reported for ETS purposes). For this purpose, companies must follow the corresponding templates. All ship-level and company-level emissions reports must be verified by an accredited verifier by 31 March of the following year (or by 28 February if requested by the administering authority responsible).

Step 7: Surrender EU allowances

Once aggregated emissions data at company level have been verified and submitted to the administering authority, companies must surrender the equivalent number of allowances in the Union Registry by 30 September of that year.