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Certification systems: Recognition - according to the Biofuel Sustainability Regulation

Distributors of fuels in Germany can only count biofuels or biogas towards their quota obligation or receive tax relief if they can prove that the biofuels or biogas resulting from Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC meet the resulting sustainability criteria. This also applies to liquid biofuels for electricity generation if economic operators wish to receive funding under the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG). Proof of sustainability can be provided via so-called national systems or within the framework of voluntary regulations of the EU Commission. The sustainability data shall be transmitted by economic operators to the Member States concerned.

According to the Biofuel Sustainability Ordinance (Biokraft-NachV) and Biomass Electricity Sustainability Ordinance (BioSt-NachV), data relevant to the German market must be entered by economic operators into the state web application Sustainable Biomass Systems (Nabisy) of the competent authority. The Nabisy web application can be accessed directly by the main customs offices and the biofuels quota office, the network operators and the competent authorities of the other Member States. Furthermore, Nabisy also serves as an instrument for the competent body to prepare the annual experience and evaluation report for the Federal Government and the EU Commission.

Nabisy shall demonstrate the sustainability and operation of a mass balance system for biofuels and biogas or bioliquids in accordance with Directive 2009/28/EC.

Process flow

According to § 33 paragraph 1 Biofuel Sustainability Ordinance (Biokraft-NachV), certification systems are recognised upon application if

  • the following information is specified for them:
    • a natural or legal person who is organisationally responsible,
    • an address capable of service in a Member State of the European Union or in another State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area,
    • certification bodies recognised under this Regulation and using the relevant certification scheme; and
    • the countries or states to which they refer,
  • they are appropriate to ensure that the requirements laid down in Articles 17 to 19 of Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77 /EC and 2003/30/EC or Articles 7b to 7d of Directive 2009/30/EC amending Directive 98/70/EC as regards specifications for petrol, diesel and gas-oil fuels and the introduction of a mechanism for monitoring and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and amending Council Directive 1999/32/EC as regards the specifications for fuels used by inland waterway vessels and repealing Directive 93/12/EEC as further defined in this Regulation;
  • they are accurate, reliable and protected from misuse and assess the frequency and method of sampling and the reliability of the data;
  • they ensure adequate and independent verification of the data and demonstrate that such verification has been carried out; and
  • to that end, they contain standards at least equivalent to the requirements set out in Annex III to the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (WTO-GATT 1994) and those set out in Appendix 3.

The recognition procedure is handled by the competent authority. The recognition must be published in the Federal Gazette.

Who should I contact?

The responsibility lies with the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE).

This procedure can also be carried out through a "Point of Single Contact". The "Point of Single Contact" is a special service offered by municipalities and the state for service providers.

Which documents are required?

No documents are required.

What are the fees?

There are no fees.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

Deadlines may have to be observed. Please contact the competent authority.

What else should I know?

According to § 33 paragraph 4 of the Biofuel Sustainability Ordinance (Biokraft-NachV), the recognition may include changes or additions to the certification system, in particular the standards for the more detailed definition of the requirements according to §§ 4 to 8 Biokraft-NachV, or may also be subsequently subject to conditions if this is necessary to meet the requirements of paragraph 1.

According to § 33 paragraph 5 Biokraft-NachV, recognition can be combined with recognition according to the Biomass Electricity Sustainability Ordinance (BioSt-NachV).

According to § 33 paragraph 6 Biokraf-NachV, recognition can be limited to

  1. individual types of biomass,
  2. individual countries or states,
  3. individual requirements according to §§ 4 to 8 Biokraf-NachV or
  4. the operation of an electronic database for the purpose of proving that the requirements of § 17 paragraph 1 Biokraf-NachV are met when the biofuel is delivered.

In the case of a restriction referred to in point 3 or 4, the competent body may determine that the certification scheme shall be deemed to be recognised only in combination with another certification scheme.

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Consumer Protection and Regional Development

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)