The Swiss Emissions Trading Registry (EHR)

Emission allowances, emission-reduction certificates and attestations from Switzerland and companies that participate in emissions trading can be recorded in the Swiss Emissions Trading Registry (EHR). The FOEN uses the EHR to check whether companies have complied with their statutory obligations and to auction off emission allowances, while also ensuring that the national reduction target is being met.

The Swiss EHR is an online accounting system. It ensures that the issuance, holding, transfer, acquisition, cancellation and surrender of units are accurately recorded. The EHR is similar to a journal: changes are documented in it. All units exist only in electronic form. However, the trading is actually organised by the private sector.

Every transaction involving units under the Kyoto Protocol is reviewed and approved by the International Transaction Log (ITL) of the UN Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC).

Transactions for all other units (Swiss and European emission allowances, attestations) are reviewed by the Supplementary Transaction Log (STL) in Switzerland.

Link with the EU emissions trading registry

The agreement on the linking of the Swiss and European Union (EU) emissions trading schemes (ETSs) entered into force on 1 January 2020, resulting in the mutual recognition of Swiss and European emission allowances. To operationalise this link, the emissions trading registries of Switzerland and the EU need to be linked electronically. Against the background of the COVID-19 crisis and the necessary measures taken in this respect, the Joint Committee established by the Linking-Agreement had agreed to postpone the start of operation of the electronic link between the emission trading registries of the EU and Switzerland, initially planned for May 2020. Both Parties envisage to operationalise the link from the 21 September 2020. Initially, the registry link will perform transfers between the Swiss and EU ETSs only at set times.

The Joint Committee adopted the calendar for the transfers of allowances between the registries of the EU and Switzerland. Transfers will generally take place twice a month (before the delivery date of the December EUA futures contracts in mid-December, the transfers will be executed twice a week). From 21 September 2020 onwards, transactions of allowances between both registries can be initiated. The transactions will then be executed on the next date indicated in the table below in accordance with the rules applicable in the registry where the request is launched, e.g. only after the transaction delay of the respective registry (26 hours in the Union registry, 24 hours in the registry of the ETS of Switzerland).

 
Calendar for the execution of transfers between the registries
28.09.2020  30.11.2020   
05.10.2020  07.12.2020   
19.10.2020  16.12.2020   
02.11.2020  17.12.2020   
16.11.2020  21.12.2020 

Generally, the calendars should cover a period of 12 months, starting from January and ending in December. In order to ensure sufficient predictability for the market, the dates of all transfers will be published at least one month in advance. Therefore, the calendar covering the entirety of 2021 will be published at the end of November 2020. Any changes to the calendar will also be published at least one month in advance, notwithstanding short-term notices on changes due to unforeseen temporary closures of the registry link (e.g. force majeure, technical and/or security issues)

Transactions within the Swiss ETS will continue to take place as before. Similarly, transactions involving units issued under the Kyoto Protocol (e.g. CERs) between the Swiss and EU ETSs will be carried out as before, since these transactions will continue to take place via the International Transaction Log (ITL) of the UN Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC).

Participants

Operator Holding Accounts: ETS participants that are required to have an account in the Swiss Emissions Trading Registry between 2013 and 2020 in order to fulfil their commitments under the CO2 Act can submit an online application to open an account in the Swiss Emissions Trading Registry. This applies to installation operators and aircraft operators that are not administered by a foreign authority. Installation operators with reduction commitments and importers and manufacturers of fossil motor fuels can also apply online to open an operator holding account in the Swiss EHR in order to fulfil their commitments under the CO2 Act.

The fees for account opening and annual account maintenance fees are imposed in accordance with Article 4 paragraphs 1 and 2 of the FOEN Fees Ordinance (CHF 140 per hour).

Basically, the following charges may be assumed:

 

Time expended

Costs

Account Opening (once)

2 hrs.

CHF 280

Account management (annually)

1 hr.

CHF 140

Personal holding accounts: In addition to ETS participants that are required to have an account in the Swiss EHR in order to fulfil their commitments under the CO2 Act, other actors can open an account in the EHR to participate in emissions trading. Businesses and individuals who want to trade emission allowances, emission-reduction certificates and attestations can submit an online application to open a personal account in the Swiss EHR. Installation and aircraft operators participating in the EU ETS and the other companies from the European Economic Area (EEA) admitted to bid in auctions in the EU that wish to take part in the auction must also apply online to open a personal account in the Swiss EHR.

The fees for account opening and the annual account maintenance fees are imposed in accordance with Article 4 paragraphs 1 and 2 of the FOEN Fees Ordinance (CHF 140 per hour).

Basically, the following charges may be assumed: 

 

Time expended

Costs

Account Opening (once)

4 hrs.

CHF 560

Account management (annually) 

3 hrs.

CHF 420

Auctions

The FOEN auctions off Swiss emission allowances via the EHR several times a year. From 2020 onwards, emission allowances for installations (CHU2) and emission allowances for aircraft (known as CHUA or aCHU) will be auctioned. The auctions takes place in a competitive process in the form of closed unit-price auctions with only one round of bidding.

Installation and aircraft operators participating in the Swiss and EU ETSs and companies from the EEA admitted to bid in auctions in the EU are eligible to take part in the auctions.

Detailed information about the auctions can be found in the fact sheet on auctions and in the General Auction Terms and Conditions (available under ‘Documents’). 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 Swiss EHR.

Further information

Contact
Last modification 06.08.2020

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