Frequently asked questions on the Swiss Emissions Trading Registry

Which emission reduction certificates can be traded and counted toward the emission reduction objective?

In general, all types of emission reduction certificates under the Kyoto Protocol can be traded nationally and internationally. However, some projects or units can be blocked for certain transactions by the Swiss Emissions Trading Registry

From 1 May 2015, national transfers, surrendering transactions, and international entries of CERs and ERUs with applicable commitment period 2008-2012 will be blocked.

Companies in Switzerland can use certificates for specific emission reductions achieved abroad. However, the quantity of certificates that they can use is limited. Their certificates must be issued according to the rules of the Kyoto Protocol and meet the quality criteria set out in the CO2 Ordinance. You find a list of accountable projects on the following link Whitelist/Projects.

More Information on Emission reduction projects and certificates.

Who can hold an account in the Swiss Emissions Trading Registry?

Any natural or legal person can apply for an account in the Swiss Emissions Trading Registry. A distinction is made between companies that are exempt from the CO2 tax and therefore open an account in the Swiss Emissions Trading Registry, and all other natural and legal persons who wish to trade emission units.

How do you open an account in the Swiss Emissions Trading Registry?

Companies and natural persons that want to open a holding account can apply online in the Swiss Emissions Trading Registry. Click on the menu item Request Account for more information.

A copy of the application must be signed and sent by registered mail along with the required documents to:

Federal Office of the Environment FOEN, Climate Division, Swiss Emissions Trading Registr , 3003 Bern.

Once the fully completed request and the required documents have been received, each authorised person will receive a unique user name directly by e-mail and a password by registered mail.

Who can request a Letter of Authorisation (LoA) for CDM/JI projects?

Procedure, criteria and documents to obtain a Letter of Approval (LoA) to participate in a CDM project:
Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI) Projects

How and when must companies participating in the ETS surrender units?

All installation owners (i.e. all ETS companies that have been exempted from the CO2 tax) must transfer enough units from their operator holding account to the surrendering account before 30 April of the following year (e.g. by 30 April 2015 for emissions from 2014). The units surrendered must correspond to the effectively verified emissions from the preceding year.

Account number format in the EU emissions trading registry

To submit a transaction from a Swiss Emissions Trading Registry account to an destination account with the EU prefix, it is important to omit the last two digits.
Example: Instead of EU-100-XXXXXXX-0-YY only enter the following part of the account number EU-100-XXXXXXX-0 (in green characters).

What are transactions?

The term "transaction" covers all movements (domestic and foreign) between two different accounts. This includes the surrendering and cancellation of units.

Are the transactions carried out in the Swiss Emissions Trading Registry secure?

All data is transferred using a 256-bit encryption in accordance with the recognised standard for Internet banking and online credit card payments. SSL will be used for the connection between the user and the registry and between the registry and the ITL.

All data in the Swiss Emissions Trading Registry is automatically backed up on the server.

How does the transaction delay work?

Customers can further safeguard an account against abuse by voluntarily requesting a transaction delay. Any transaction originating from such an account would then be carried out at least 24 hours after the transaction has been initiated by the customer (only exception: transactions on a Swiss government account).

Transactions subject to the transaction delay will be executed from Monday to Friday (working days) at 12 noon as follows:

  • upon confirmation by a transaction validator before 12 noon on a working day: execution of the transaction on the next working day
  • upon confirmation by a transaction validator after 12 noon on a working day: execution of the transaction on the working day following the next working day

Under these rules, transactions that are executed on an official holiday or on a working day on which the EHR helpdesk is closed for other reasons will be executed on the first working day thereafter. Official holidays and planned closures will be announced at least 5 working days in advance on the home page of the Swiss Emissions Trading Registry.

Registered account holders and users of affected accounts can notify the FOEN by 10 a.m. on the day of the expected execution of a deferred transaction that the transaction should be aborted. The notification must be sent by email to the EHR helpdesk (emissionsregistry@bafu.admin.ch). The transaction will only be aborted if the following are provided:

  • Exact transaction number (example: CH-00000)
  • Justification for aborting the transaction

Central European time (CET/CEST) applies to all the times mentioned above.