Information for installation operators participating in the ETS

Installation operators that participate in the emissions trading scheme (ETS) are exempted from the CO2 levy. They must prepare a monitoring plan and on that basis report annually on their emissions. Each year, an ETS participant must surrender into the Emissions Trading Registry emission allowances or, if permitted, emission-reduction certificates, in the amount of its effective greenhouse gas emissions.

1. Participation in the ETS and withdrawal

Installation operators that newly engage in an activity referred to in Annex 6 of the CO2 Ordinance must report this to the FOEN no later than three months after starting the activity.

Installation operators that want to voluntarily participate in the ETS must report this no later than six months after the conditions for participation have been fulfilled in accordance with Article 42 of the CO2 Ordinance.

Installation operators that fulfil the requirements for an exemption from the obligation to participate (Art. 41 CO2 Ordinance) or that permanently no longer fulfil the conditions for participation in the ETS (Art. 43a CO2 Ordinance) can apply by 1 June that they will no longer participate in the ETS from the beginning of the following year.

2. Monitoring plan and annual monitoring report

The monitoring plan shows where the emissions occur and how they can be monitored at what level of accuracy. It can be created once using the template below and subsequently kept up to date.

Based on the monitoring plan, the monitoring report must be submitted annually no later than 31 March of the following year. The ETS participant can submit its monitoring data and the additional goods accounting directly to the FOEN using the templates below. For inputting the monitoring data the Energieagentur der Wirtschaft (EnAW) also makes available software with a standardized format at cost-covering prices (Energie-Agentur der Wirtschaft (EnAW), Hegibachstrasse 47, Post box, 8032 Zurich,, Telephone +41 44 421 34 45).

ETS participants are responsible for the timely input and accuracy of the data. The FOEN may require that the monitoring report be verified on behalf of, and at the expense of, the ETS participant. Independent third parties from the list below are eligible for verification. Other independent third parties may apply to the FOEN to be included in the list. To do so, they must fulfil at least the defined suitability criteria. The FOEN may require additional information.

3. Obligation to surrender emission allowances and emission reduction certificates

An installation operator is obliged to surrender to the FOEN in each case by 30 April emission allowances or, if permitted, emission-reduction certificates, in the amount of its previous year’s greenhouse gas emissions. For the latter, in addition to the limited quantity provided for in Article 48 CO2 Ordinance, the quality requirements of Article 4 CO2 Ordinance must be observed.

More information about the eligibility of emission allowances can be found at Linking the Swiss and EU emissions trading schemes.

4. Auctioning of emission allowances

The FOEN regularly auctions off emission allowances via the Swiss Emissions Trading Registry (EHR). Auctions can be carried out several times a year. Detailed information about the auctions can be found in the fact sheet on auctions and in the General Auction Terms and Conditions (available at The dates, auction volumes, maximum and minimum bid quantities of the next auction and the results of the auctions already carried out are published in the EHR (

5. Refund of the CO2 levy

The CO2 levy is paid when purchasing standard fossil fuels notwithstanding an exemption. Installation operators exempt from the CO2 levy can claim a refund of the levy paid. The refund application must be submitted with the appropriate fuel bills to the Federal Customs Administration.

There is an exemption for fossil-thermal power plants under the CO2 Act and Ordinance. The amount refunded depends on the CO2 levy paid and the mean of the external costs minus the hammer price of the surrendered emission allowances. In such cases, the refund application and the necessary supporting documents must be submitted to the FOEN. After checking the information, the FOEN forwards the refund application to the Federal Customs Administration.

6. Changes to the installations and adjustment of the free-of-charge allocation

Changes in emission-relevant installations and/or legal structures that affect the free-of-charge allocation of emission allowances or the monitoring of emissions are to be reported promptly to the FOEN.

7. Hardship provision

If European emission allowances are not yet recognised in the Swiss ETS or if the link with the EU ETS has been suspended, an ETS participant may submit a request for assessment as a case of hardship, subject to certain conditions. More information can be found at Linking the Swiss and EU emissions trading schemes

8. Failure to meet the obligation

If an installation operator fails to surrender a sufficient quantity of emission allowances and emission-reduction certificates by the deadline, a sanction of CHF 125 per tonne CO2eq is due for the missing quantity under Article 21 of the CO2 Act. The installation operator must submit the missing emission allowances or emission-reduction certificates for surrender no later than 31 January of the following year. Otherwise, the FOEN will offset the missing quantity against the next annual free-of-charge allocation of emission allowances.

Emissionshandelssystem EHS

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This publication does not exist in English. It is available in other languages. 2020

Further information

Last modification 03.12.2019

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