BlogCO2 Grenzausgleich (CBAM)

Deadline for CBAM reports relaxed

Written by

Ulf Narloch

Published on

The European Commission has now built flexibility into the deadline for the first CBAM report for Q4 2023. Following technical difficulties, the “request delay” function is now made available until March 31. Importers of CBAM goods have then a 30-day time window to submit their report. Corrections can still be made until end of July.

Submission of first CBAM report

The EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) requires comprehensive reporting obligations from EU importers of CBAM goods. In 2026 a CO2 levy will be imposed on imported goods.  

Until then, during the CBAM transitional period CBAM reports are required since October 2023. They must be submitted quarterly, via the CBAM Transitional Registry – up to one month after the end of each quarter.

Accordingly, the deadline for the first CBAM report for the fourth quarter of 2023 is January 31, 2024.

Request for delayed submission

Shortly before this deadline expired, the possibility of an unconditional 30-days extension was granted, as announced on January 29 in a communication on technical issues related to the CBAM Registry. For this a “Request Delayed Submission” function was made available in the CBAM Registry on February 1.

Now these rules were expanded and further guidance for requesting delayed submission was published on February 29. The European Commission’s Questions and Answers (Q&A) were updated accordingly.

For the first CBAM report for Q4 of 2023 the request can be made in 2 cases:

1. Following technical errors:

  • When: Companies who are already registered in the CBAM Registry can request a delay until March 31, when they have run into technical problems. This request can also be made if no draft report was created so far. An explanation must be added about the type of error.
  • Submission: Then declarants have 30 days to submit their CBAM report. For those who put in the request on March 31, this would give them time until end of April.
  • Correction: It is still possible to correct the submitted data by July 31.
  • Penalties: The Q&A (point 27) clarifies that no penalties will be applied in these situations.

2. On request of the National Competent Authority (NCA):

  • When: An NCA can request submission from companies who have failed to submit a report within the indicted deadlines. For such a request a reference number from the NCA is needed. Such a number can proactively be requested by the declarant from the NCA through the Registry. Unregistered companies can email their NCA.
  • Submission: Also here, declarants have 30 days to submit their report.
  • Correction: The correction window runs until end of July too. However, if such delayed submission is requested after July 1, submission and corrections are possible within 30 days.
  • Penalties: The Q&A (point 28) highlight that not sticking to the reporting deadlines is a violation of the CBAM Implementing Regulation. Penalties can be applied.

In both cases the request for delayed report submission will be automatically approved. The declarant will be able to either create a draft report manually or through an XML upload or resume editing an existing draft report.

Technical issues in the CBAM Registry

This announcement follows technical difficulties in the submission of CBAM reports via the CBAM Transitional Registry. The European Commission is working is working on a variety of changes and errors in the CBAM Registry. Schedules for new releases are updated regularly.

Overall, reporting companies experience difficulties with registration, system operability and data entries in the CBAM Registry, which complicates the timely submission of the required data.

In Germany, registration has only been possible since mid-January. An earlier statement from the German Emissions Trading Authority (DEHSt) as the national competent authority explains that the late possibility of preparing CBAM reports will not lead to sanctions or other disadvantages here.

Briefing: CBAM reporting obligations

The CBAM reporting obligations are defined in the EU Implementing Regulation 2023/1773. These rules were adopted in August 2023. They apply in the transitional period from October 2023 to December 2025.

Who is required to report for CBAM? (§2)

Responsibility for fulfilling the reporting obligations for the respective quarter lies with the reporting declarants of CBAM goods as:

  1. Importers who declare CBAM goods for free circulation in the EU in its own name or
  2. Indirect customs representatives who declare the goods in its own name and take on the reporting obligations.

These reporting declarants are liable for incomplete or incorrect information in the CBAM reports.

What is to be reported for CBAM? (§3, §7)

In principle, each CBAM report must contain information for the completed quarter about:

  1. Quantity of imported CBAM goods by 8-digit CN codes
  2. Direct emissions released during the production of imported goods
  3. Indirect emissions from electricity consumption in the production of imported goods
  4. Carbon prices already paid in the country of origin of imported goods

The determination of emissions plays a central role in the CBAM reports, as these form the basis for the calculation of import duties in CBAM from 2026. Detailed rules are specified in the Annex to EU Implementing Regulation 2023/1773.

When are CBAM reports due? (§8, §9)

CBAM reports must be submitted quarterly – always within one month after the end of each quarter.

Reports submitted can be corrected up to two months after the end of the quarter. An extended correction window until July 31, 2024 was granted for the first two CBAM reports.

Reporting declarants can submit an application to the national competent authority after the expiry of these deadlines to resubmit a CBAM report or to correct it after this deadline and within one year after the end of the relevant quarter.

How to report for CBAM? (§8, §10, §22)

CBAM reports must be submitted via the Trader Portal in the CBAM transitional Registry. The national CBAM authorities, such as the German Emissions Trading Authority (DEHSt), are responsible for granting access authorization to this portal.

The quarterly data can be entered into the CBAM Registry in two ways:

  1. Manual entry of data using the web-based user interfaces
  2. Upload of a ZIP file with the data in XML format and the specified structure together with the required attachments

The CBAM Registry is also used for communication with the CBAM authorities, including general announcements as well as company-specific matters.  

Why to report for CBAM? (§16)

For non-compliance with CBAM reporting obligations, penalties of 10 to 50 EUR per ton of unrecorded emissions can be imposed if:

  1. No report is submitted despite the reporting obligations applying for the respective quarter
  2. Data provided in quarterly reports is incomplete or inaccurate.

Penalties can only be imposed after initiation of a correction procedure by the CBAM authorities and if the correction measures are not taken in time. The level of the penalties is at the discretion of the national competent authorities.

Creating your CBAM report via XML-transfer

For EU importers of CBAM goods in the fourth quarter of 2023, the deadline extension offers an additional time window to submit the first CBAM report. Data for the completed quarter can then still be added and revised until July 31.  

Given the technical difficulties, the CO2 IQ CBAM Report Builder eases your report preparation by minimizing data work in the CBAM Registry itself. As an automated support tool for data management, it saves time and effort in:

  1. Data compilation via easy-to-fill templates with input guides and reduced data entries
  2. Data control via automatic calculation of emission data and data checks to ensure all critical data entries
  3. Data transfer by processing the recorded data into an XML file that can be easily and quickly uploaded to the CBAM Registry

Would you also like to create your first CBAM report with the CO2 IQ CBAM Report Builder? Then contact us for a demo version and/or for further technical support about your CBAM data.

(This blog is regularly updated – last update on March 1, 2024)

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