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21 May 13
First carbon deadline now less than one month away

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The first major carbon deadline is 17 June 2013 - now less than one month away - and liable entities must act quickly to avoid non-compliance and unnecessary penalties.

If you are a liable entity with an interim emissions number (IEN) you must:

  • report under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 (Cth) (NGER Act), and
  • make your first carbon price payment under the Clean Energy Act 2011 (Cth) (CE Act).

As the statutory due date, June 15, falls on a Saturday this year, the deadline is Monday, 17 June.  The balance of any carbon units to be surrendered will be due next February 2014.

NGER Reporting

Liable entities with IENs need to finalise their section 22AA NGER Act reports and submit them to the Clean Energy Regulator (Regulator) by 17 June 2013.

Generally for liable entities that are direct emitters, your IEN will be 75% of your total emissions in relation to a facility for the previous year or a reasonable estimate for the current year.  Entities without IENs will still be liable but will have reporting and surrender obligations later this year and early next year. 

There are particular requirements for each report depending on whether the IEN was calculated based on the previous year’s emissions or a reasonable estimate of the current year.  In both cases the report must include a range of statements, including information on the facility’s operational control and an explanation of how the IEN was calculated.

The final emissions number to be reported for the 2012/13 financial year will be due to the Regulator on 31 October.

First carbon price payment

Liable entities can finalise their carbon unit strategies once the IEN is determined.  The Government legislated a ‘progressive surrender period’ during the first three years of the carbon price (the fixed price years), which was intended to act as a transitional period for liable entities.  It is progressive because there are two separate dates to surrender carbon units.

You must surrender an equivalent number of carbon units to your IEN if you are a liable entity with an IEN.

Importantly, liable entities that fail to surrender the correct amount of carbon units by 17 June will be met with an automatic and unavoidable 130% penalty on the number of units below their required IEN to be surrendered next month. This penalty will add up very quickly at an effective carbon price of $29.90 ($23 x 130%).

Avoid non-compliance and penalties

If your organisation is liable under the CE Act and NGER Act and you have an IEN, this final month will be critical to keep your carbon costs to a minimum.

This article covers legal and technical issues in a general way. It is not designed to express opinions on specific cases. It is intended for information purposes only and should not be regarded as legal advice. Further advice should be obtained before taking action on any issue dealt with in this publication.

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