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Administration

Administration of the Biofuels Obligation Scheme

The Biofuels Obligation Scheme (BOS) came into effect on 1st July 2010. Click here to view the relevant legislation on the Biofuels Obligation Scheme

Under this enacted legislation, the National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA) has been mandated to administer the Biofuels Obligation Scheme (BOS). NORA has engaged Consultants (a consortium of Byrne Ó Cléirigh and Smith & Williamson – with BÓC as the lead consultant) to administer the Scheme.

The legislation sets out in detail all the specific requirements of the BOS. Economic operators that place motor fuels and/or biofuels on the market in the Republic of Ireland should familiarise themselves fully with the legislation and the obligations that arise therefrom.  

SI 160 of 2017, which transposes Article 7a of the Fuel Quality Directive, introduced a requirement on fuel suppliers to reduce the carbon intensity of the fuel they supply to road vehicles and non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) by 6% by 2020.  This requirement is also administered by NORA.  There is a significant overlap bewteen the requirements of SI 160 and those of the BOS.  Therefore, to minimise the adinistrative burden on the fuel suppliers and NORA, the Agency has, in so far as possible, integrated the administration of SI 160 into the BOS.

The key requirements of the BOS can be summarised as follows.

  1. Every Oil Company and Oil Consumer liable to pay the NORA Levy (the ‘Obligated Parties’) must, in each obligation period, ensure that not less than 11 litres in every 100 litres of road transport fuel is biofuel. This is called the ‘biofuel obligation’. This ratio equates to 12.359% of petroleum-based motor fuel placed on the market (12.359% being 11/89). See Section 44C of the legislation.
  2. In the case of Oil Companies or Oil Consumers that are already subject to the NORA Levy, NORA will automatically open a ‘biofuel obligation account’; see Section 44E(1) of the legislation.
  3. Producers and suppliers of biofuels who are NOT already subject to the NORA Levy, and who wish to open biofuel obligation accounts with NORA must apply directly to NORA to do so. Such applications must be accompanied by a Tax Clearance Certificate and other such information as may be prescribed - see Section 44E (4) of legislation. 
  4. All biofuel accounts will be maintained in electronic form or in such form which NORA shall determine.
  5. Biofuel Account holders shall apply to NORA for certificates for biofuels placed on the market. One certificate is issued for each litre of biofuel provided that fuel meets the compliance requirements on sustainability. NORA maintains records of all certificates issued and of the balance of certificates held by each account holder.
  6. Biofuel Account holders may, under the provisions of Section 44(G) 1 of the Regulations, apply for 2 certificates per litre in the case of biofuels produced from material that can be considered to be a biodegradable waste, residue, non-food cellulosic material, ligno-cellulosic material or algae. In this regard, prior to issuing such certificates, NORA is obliged to consult with EPA, NSAI, SEAI and the Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government - see Sections 44G (1), 44G (11)(a) & 44G (11)(b) of the Regulations.

There is an extensive range of information and guidance documents regarding the administration of the BOS available in the BOS Documentation section of this website.  In addition, a comprehensive and regularly updated register of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) is available.  If you have a query, please consult these information sources in the first instance because it is more than likely that the question has already been answered.  If the answer is not to be found within the BOS Documentation or Frequently Asked Questions, you should then direct your query to bos@nora.ie .  However as the BOS receives a large volume of queries an immediate response cannot be guaranteed, so please be patient with us.

 

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