Update NUTS2-values - biofuels and bioliquid supply chain

To Economic Operators certified under the Voluntary Schemes,

To whom it may concern,

 

Dear economic operators and certification bodies,


Concerning our recent joint communication on NUTS2 (1) values, we’d like to update the available information after we received a letter from the European Commission on this matter on Tuesday 12th December 2023.


In this letter the Commission confirms its position “…that since the entry into force of Directive (EU) 2018/2001 (RED II) the NUTS-values submitted under Directive 2009/28/EC [‘old NUTS values] are no longer automatically applicable and promised to investigate whether a further transition period would still be possible. …”


As a result of this investigation, the Commission states in its latest letter that “…NUTS-values differing from the default values for Annex V can therefore only be applied if recognised by the Commission through an implementing act. Consequently, it is not possible for the Commission to grant a further transition period, as requested by some of the Member States and by industry stakeholders, as this would have to be done through a co-legislation process. …”


It's now the responsibility of the Member States to provide updated NUTS2 values to be assessed and confirmed by the European Commission according to the current legal requirements.


In light of this situation we, the voluntary schemes, have agreed on the following:
1. Biomass harvested in 2023 benefits from the published NUTS2 values, because of the protection of legitimate expectations. The NUTS2 value is preserved along the value chain until the declaration of the finished biofuel.
2. The harvest 2024 will have the opportunity to be flagged with ‘new’ NUTS2 values provided that these values have been covered by a Commission Decision. Please note that the possibility of using default and actual values remains unchanged.

 

(1) To determine the GHG emissions from cultivation the RED II allows, next to the actual calculation or the application of default values, the use of typical values that represent the average value in a specific area. Those typical values have to be reported to the European Commission by Member States or third countries and can be used if the Commission recognizes them to be accurate. Those typical values are often referred to as NUTS2 values, as they describe the emissions from the cultivation of agricultural raw materials of the areas on a Member Stated territory classified as level 2 in the nomenclature of territorial units for statistics (NUTS) (see Art. 31(2) RED II).

Evolution of NUTS 02 values | Joint communication from Voluntary Schemes

 

To Economic Operators,

To whom it may concern,

 

Evolution of NUTS 02 values | Joint communication from Voluntary Schemes

NUTS 02 values are the commonly used term for typical greenhouse gas emissions from the cultivation of agricultural raw materials provided by EU Member States[1]. Third countries may also provide such values. NUTS2 values[2] can be applied by agricultural producers and forwarded in the biofuel supply chain. The usage of these values may reduce administrative workload within the biofuel chain as no actual calculation of the emissions from the cultivation of the agricultural biomass is required. Numerous players throughout the sector use these NUTS 02 in their supply chains.

The NUTS2 values that have been in use since July 2018 values have been established in Member State reports based on the extraction and cultivation of agricultural feedstock in specific regions of the country and were approved by the European Commission.

Updates on the applicable legislation

In September 2023, the European Commission indicated in a letter to the Voluntary Schemes that in accordance with Art. 31(4) of Directive (EU) 2018/2001 (RED II) the Commission may by means of implementing acts decide that respective reports from EU Member States or third countries, submitted in accordance with Art. 31(2) and (3) contain accurate for the purposes of measuring GHG emissions for cultivation of agricultural biomass feedstock. The letter was a reply to a joint communication of a large number of VS in which the need for a sufficient transition period for this approach had been outlined as to this date, only for Argentina and Australia such implementing acts are in place.

Next steps/outlook

Schemes are currently awaiting more precise instructions on the next steps and the possible transition to be put in place. The VS will have a meeting with the European Commission at the end of October in which the need for an appropriate transition period will be further promoted.

We are aware that an immediate change in the application of NUTS2 values could have dramatic results in the chain, and that a smooth transition needs to be organized.

Whilst the outcome of the meeting is still pending, it is our duty to provide you with the most transparent information about the use of NUTS 02-values. We will share more with you as soon as we have more news.



[1] NUTS 2 stands for territory classified as level 2 in the nomenclature of territorial units for statistics. See Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 May 2003 on the establishment of a common classification of territorial units for statistics

[2] If available for the feedstock and region where the feedstock is supplied from in the unit in g CO2eq/dry-ton of feedstock

Improved communication and information-exchange between voluntary schemes in case of certification-related issues

In response to the European biodiesel market being flooded with vast quantities of Chinese biodiesel with partially doubtful declarations of origin and feedstock, the voluntary schemes ISCC, 2BSvs, KZR INiG, RSB and REDcert have agreed to improve their already established communication channels for exchanging certification-related information.

As all schemes already provide a publicly available and up-to-date list of certificates indicating the status and scope of an economic operator’s certification – including the certification history under the particular scheme – there will be now a systematic and immediate exchange of suspended and withdrawn certificates between those schemes. The sharing of this information will contribute to the common goal of preventing economic operators from ‘scheme hopping’ as a result of suspended or withdrawn certificates. The exchange of such information allows all voluntary scheme to cross-check new applicants’ background, and in particular, their certification history and any related incidents before they are accepted/contracted under a scheme.

The voluntary schemes have also agreed to establish a regular platform for collaboration, where system updates and continuous improvement processes can be discussed and harmonised in a mutual and proactive way.

 

Dear All,

we are pleased to announce that on December 14, 2022 the following has been issued COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING DECISION (EU) 2022/2461 recognising the ‘KZR INiG’ scheme for demonstrating compliance with the requirements set out in Directive (EU) 2018/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards biofuels, bioliquids, biomass fuels, renewable liquid and gaseous fuels of non-biological origin and recycled carbon fuels and repealing Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/603.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/dec_impl/2022/2461/oj

The decision expands the scope of KZR INiG certification to include Article 29 (6-7) of Directive 2018/2011 (forest biomass).

This makes KZR INiG the only voluntary system globally recognized by the European Commission to offer certification for the full scope of the RED II Directive: both liquid biofuels and biomass fuels, and one of three certification schemes for forest biomass.

Certification according to RED II and mutual recognition between Voluntary Schemes (see the letter below)

3 TH August 2021

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

We, the undersigned Voluntary Schemes would like to clarify the following:

Recognition under RED II:

- In a letter dated 10th July 2021, the European Commission has informed Member States that some voluntary schemes have successfully passed the preliminary assessment for the formal recognition under RED II (i.e. are technically compliant with RED II). The following schemes are considered at this stage as having closed the outstanding issues in their preliminary assessment reports: 2BSvs, Better Biomass, Bonsucro EU, ISCC EU, KZR INiG, REDcert, Red Tractor, RSB EU RED, RTRS EU RED, SQC, TASCC, UFAS, SURE.

Application of RED II:

- The European Commission has requested the Voluntary Schemes to apply the RED II rules as of 1 st July 2021 (the transposition date of RED II) even if they are not officially recognised at that date. These technically compliant schemes ensure continuity of activities between RED I and RED II; this continuity applies to all certified material transactions demonstrating compliance with the sustainability and GHG emissions savings criteria of the RED II.

Mutual recognition between Voluntary Schemes

- The undersigned Voluntary Schemes confirm mutual recognition of Certificates and Sustainability Declarations or Proofs of Sustainability issued by the above mentioned Voluntary schemes which are technically compliant with the RED II.

Expected time frame:

- The undersigned Voluntary Schemes have urged the European Commission to officially recognise the Voluntary Schemes without any further delay. The European Commission confirmed that that the recognition of voluntary schemes under the RED II is expected to happen in short term. We hope that this statement may answer some of the questions raised on the market.

     
Delfina Rogowska
Office Manager
KZR INiG
Andreas Feige
Managing Director
ISCC System GmbH

Peter Jürgens
Managing Director
REDcert GmbH
and SUSTAINABLE RESOURCES
Verification Scheme (SURE) GmbH
 
Elena Schmidt
Executive Director
RSB
Bruno Berken
General Director
2BSvs 

 

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