This Decree shall apply to transport fuels used to power road vehicles and non-road mobile machinery, agricultural and forestry tractors, pleasure craft when not at sea, as well as electricity for use in road vehicles.
Royal Decree amending the Royal Decree of 29 June 2018 to reduce the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions from transport energy
1. Waterway vessels are excluded from the scope of the Royal Decree of 29 June 2018 when they are not at sea;
The Netherlands has also excluded these waterway vessels from its scope of application.
On 1 July 2018, the Netherlands removed the reduction obligation for waterway vessels from Article 2.9 of its Decree on air pollution from fuels. The Netherlands has transferred the reduction obligation to Article 22.214.171.124 of the Environmental Management Act. The scope of this article from the Environmental Management Act has removed ‘waterway vessels when not at sea’. For the percentage reduction, the Environmental Management Act further refers to ‘for any calendar year with a percentage to be determined by or pursuant to a general administrative regulation’. This percentage can then be found in Article 35 of the Energy in Transport Decree. Therefore, the conclusion is that the Netherlands has explicitly excluded waterway vessels from the reduction obligation. If Belgium fails to do the same, Belgian companies will suffer serious economic disadvantages as they would otherwise be forced to achieve greenhouse gas emission reduction targets in 2020, the likes of which competitors in the Netherlands are currently excluded.
In addition, reference can be made to the Revised Convention for Rhine Navigation of 1868 (Convention of Mannheim) and Protocol No 5 of the CCNR of 16 May 1952 on the Customs and tax scheme for gas oil consumed as fuel by vessels using the Rhine (Gas oil protocol) as a justification for this exclusion in the Netherlands and Belgium as Rhine riparian states. Here, it is agreed that no measure may be taken that has the purpose or effect of
selling gas oil that is intended for navigation on the Rhine at higher or lower prices and that Rhine riparian states shall not levy customs duties or other taxes on gas oil.
2. The definition of supplier of transport fuels has been adjusted so that only suppliers releasing a volume of at least 500,000 litres, kilograms or Nm3 of transport fuels for consumption throughout the calendar year fall under the definition of supplier of transport fuels;
As in the Netherlands, this reduces the administrative burden for the smallest fuel suppliers regarding the obligation included in the Royal Decree of 29 June 2018 to reduce the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions from transport energy.
3. The reporting dates for suppliers of transport fuels have been delayed by four months;
Due to European amendments to these reporting dates.
4. Certified upstream greenhouse gas emission reductions (hereinafter GSERs [Gecertificeerde stroomopwaartse broeikasgasemissiereducties]) that are permanently blocked will not be revoked by the competent authority;
It is not possible for permanently blocked GSERs to be revoked from a technical point of view, due to the design of the system in question. This concept was specifically added in order to ensure that potential recognition of, for example, the German FQD registry, is not precluded in advance. The system certainly does not provide for the possibility of revoking credits. The issue of double counting is overcome by establishing the restriction that no outgoing transactions are possible from the final target account. As a result, the system guarantees that GSERs will remain in this account permanently and that it is not possible for them to be used for other purposes. That would be considered the equivalent of revoking/annulling these GSERs. For this reason, the concept was included in the draft decision in order to keep the way clear for the possible recognition of these systems.
5. A clearer formulation of factor x in the formula for calculating the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions from a supplier;
For the sake of textual clarity
6. The insertion of allocation keys for determining the quantity of gas oil supplied for non-road mobile machinery, both in the agricultural category as well as for the commercial and industrial category;
Due to the fact that it is not possible for an additional distinction to be made at either the level of excise duties nor by the suppliers themselves concerning the end consumption of gas oil, fixed allocation keys are determined. These fixed allocation keys have been determined in consultation with the sector organisations. These fixed allocation keys correspond to the average shares in fuel use for mobile applications (e.g., tractor, forklift, etc.) as well as non-mobile applications (heating, generators, etc.) in the respective sectors (agriculture and commercial and industrial).
7. Clarifying the applicable conditions for GSERs that are certified as GSERs by other Member States within a certification system that is approved by the minister on the basis of advice from the competent authority;
This was implicitly included in the original Royal Decree of 29 June 2018 and has now been explicitly included.
8. The inclusion of an option for the minister to approve additional upstream emission reduction projects that may be taken into account with the aim of reducing the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions.
The current list of upstream emission reduction projects is exhaustive, making it impossible to accept any further projects than may otherwise be deemed acceptable. The proposal gives the minister the opportunity to accept other potentially acceptable projects.