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CBAM. December 22, 2023. Europe publishes default values for product embedded emissions.

Today is Tuesday, December 26, 2023.

Last Friday, 22 December 2023, the European Commission published the default values to be used to determine embedded emissions in imported goods covered by CBAM, Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism. In principle, these values will be valid during its transitional period until the end of 2025.

According to the Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union "default values play a specific role in CBAM implementation during the transitional period, in particular when importers do not have all the necessary information".

More directly, when declarants do not have or are not able to report actual emissions.

Here the situations:

  • During the three first quarterly reports (Q4 of 2023 and Q1&2 of 2024), declarants may report embedded emission based on default values made available and published by the European Commission without quantitative limit;

  • From Q3 of 2024 and until the end of 2025, declarants can still report emissions based on estimations but only for complex goods and with a limit of 20% of the total embedded emissions. Using default values would qualify as ‘estimation‘.

Default values are given in tonnes of CO2e emissions per tonne of goods, according to European CN Combined nomenclature codes for customs / tariff and related to the industries of iron and steel (217 codes), cement (6), fertilizers (21), aluminium (22) and hydrogen (1). Here a few examples of the "total emissions" default values, a result of direct plus indirect emissions:

  • Cement clinkers: 0,87

  • Mineral or chemical fertilisers containing the three fertilising elements nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium: 1,35

  • Pig iron: 2,07

  • Welded, of stainless steel: 2,44

  • Ammonia: 2,82

  • Sodium nitrate: 4,06

  • Ferro-nickel: 6,26

  • Hydrogen: 10,4

  • Aluminium tubes and pipes: 12,04

Give a look. There 15 pages with over 260 product codes.

About eletricity, we quote the report: "The default values represent the average emission factors of the electricity produced from fossil fuels in the country of origin, based on data from the International Energy Agency (IEA). These data are not published in this document but are made avaliable to reporting declarants through the CBAM Transitional Registry."

According to the press release, these default values will be revised regularly to take into account data collected in the reporting periods as well as feedback from EU industry and from non-EU producers of CBAM goods.

Click here to access the press release by the European Commission and at the image below for the 25 pages document "DEFAULT VALUES FOR THE TRANSITIONAL PERIOD OF THE CBAM BETWEEN 1 OCTOBER 2023 AND 31 DECEMBER 2025".

And by clicking here you have, in 24 languages, the official European Union guide "All information and guidance on CBAM".

So, can you present the carbon intensity of the products you are exporting the the European Union? Or you will have the use the defalut values just released by them?


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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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