EU ETS: open ETSWAP and Union Registry accounts and make applications

How to open ETSWAP and Union Registry accounts, and apply for an installation emissions permit or aviation emissions plan.

Open an ETSWAP account

Before you can apply for an emissions permit or emissions plan, you need to get access to the online Emissions Trading Scheme Workflow Automation Project (ETSWAP).

Login to ETSWAP

If you are an installation operator, go to ETSWAP and select ‘Register a new stationary installation’. Provide the information requested.

If you are an aircraft operator on the Commission List, email your regulator to request access to ETSWAP. Find your regulator’s email address.

In your email you need to include the:

  • aircraft operator name
  • aircraft operator code as specified on the Commission List
  • first name of the contact person
  • surname of the contact person
  • telephone number of the contact person
  • email address you want your login details sent to

Once your regulator has approved your request for access, ETSWAP will send you an email with the login details for your individual account.

You use your ETSWAP account to:

  • apply for your emissions permit or emissions plan
  • apply for changes to your emissions permit or emissions plan
  • notify your regulator of changes to your emissions permit or emissions plan
  • submit your annual emissions reports
  • submit an improvement report (if needed)

ETSWAP has help pages to help you navigate through the system and carry out your compliance tasks.

Apply for an emissions permit or emissions plan

Once you have set up your ETSWAP account, you must use this to apply for your emissions permit or emissions plan.

Installation operators must apply for an emissions permit before starting the regulated activity.

If you are an aircraft operator assigned to the UK on the Commission List, you must use ETSWAP to apply for an emissions plan either:

  • within 12 weeks of the publication of the list
  • 4 months before carrying out an aviation activity

If you are unable to meet these timings, you must apply for an emissions plan within 6 weeks of carrying out the aviation activity - providing an explanation of why you have not been able to apply sooner.

You must also notify your regulator within 12 weeks of the publication of the Commission List if:

  • you have not and do not intend to carry out any aviation activity
  • all your flights are exempt
  • you will only carry out excluded aviation activities

You notify your regulator using the emissions monitoring plan application on ETSWAP.

ETSWAP will automatically create a task for you to complete your application under the ‘My tasks’ list on the work queue page. The task will stay in this list until you have completed it. You navigate to the application form by clicking on the task.

Complete the application form in ETSWAP and then submit it to your regulator. Your ETSWAP account keeps a record of your submission for audits and future reference.

Your regulator will determine your application and notify you of its decision.

Emissions plan application for aircraft operators

When you complete your emissions plan application form, you will be asked whether you consider all of your flights to be exempt.

If you answer ‘yes’, you need to attach supporting evidence to the application form you send your regulator. Annex 1 of the EU ETS Directive provides information about exempt flights.

If you carry out flights that are not exempt you must answer ‘no’ and complete the remaining sections of your emissions plan application. You must outline the methodology you will use to monitor emissions.

Notify your regulator if you answer ‘no’, but you do not expect to carry out any aviation activities within the 12 weeks following the publication of the Commission List and the subsequent 4 months after that.

The ETSWAP system and help pages will guide you through filling in your emissions plan application form.

Contact your regulator if you want to see an example emissions plan application showing the type and level of information needed. Example emissions plans are available for:

  • a small emitter using a simplified monitoring approach
  • an aircraft operator that has used a calculation approach to measure its fuel consumption

Pay for your application

When you submit your application, a task called ‘Make payment for your application’ will appear in your work queue. ETSWAP will guide you through the payment process.

You can pay by cheque, credit or debit card (using the online payment facility) or BACS. The guide EU ETS: charges has more information on application fees and how to pay.

Application approval

Your regulator will email and let you know when they have approved your application for an emissions permit or emissions plan. The email will contain the approved emissions permit or emissions plan and an approval notice. You can also access these directly from your ETSWAP account.

Once your regulator has approved your application, you need to:

  • check you understand the introductory note and conditions in your emissions permit or emissions plan
  • open your Union Registry Operator Holding Account (OHA) or Aircraft Operator Holding Account (AOHA) within 20 working days

The Union Registry is an online database hosted, maintained and operated by the European Commission.

Union Registry accounts for operators

Installation operators must open an OHA.

Aircraft operators must open an AOHA.

You need an OHA or AOHA in the Union Registry to:

  • enter your annual reportable emissions figure and have it verified
  • surrender allowances equal to your annual reportable emissions
  • receive free allowances - see EU ETS: allowances to find out if you are eligible
  • transfer allowances to or from a third party (trade)

To trade allowances with a third party you must set up the third party’s Union Registry account as a ‘Trusted account’. See the guide EU ETS: allowances to find out how to do this.

Once you have set up your Union Registry account, you may be able to apply for free allowances from the New Entrants Reserve (NER). To check if you are eligible see EU ETS: allowances.

Union Registry accounts for traders

You can set up these types of Union Registry accounts for trading purposes only:

  • Person Holding Account
  • Trading Account
  • Person Account National Registry

Person Holding Accounts and Trading Accounts can trade general allowances, aviation allowances and Kyoto units eligible for use in the EU ETS.

Person Accounts in the National Registry can only trade in Kyoto units.

Some operators who were in EU ETS before June 2012 will also have a Former Operator Holding Account. This account can only be used for trading Kyoto units. It is no longer possible to open this type of account.

The detailed guide EU ETS: allowances has more information about types of allowances.

Open a Union Registry account

Opening a Union Registry account can take at least 2 months. This is the process - which is the same for operators, aircraft operators and traders.

Login to the Union Registry

  1. At least 2 people from your organisation need to register on the Union Registry with an EU login (previously ECAS) and enter their details. If they are not already Union Registry users they can do this by selecting ‘First time user’.

  2. Once registered they will be given a 14 character Unique Registry Identifier (URID) that starts with the characters GB. Existing users don’t need to re-register.

  3. They can then visit the Union Registry and apply online for an account.

  4. They must nominate 2 Authorised Representatives (ARs) and any Additional Authorised Representatives (AARs) they want to nominate using the URIDs they received when they first registered.

  5. A UK National Administrator will contact them to let them know what supporting documents are needed for their application and where to send them to be validated.

  6. The UK National Administrator will confirm an account has been opened and send your ARs their enrolment key (subject to their details and documents being successfully validated).

Email for more information about how to apply for a Union Registry account.

If you are a trader, you will need to pay the relevant fee when you open your Union Registry account.

For operators and aircraft operators, the application fee for your emissions permit or emissions plan also covers the cost of opening your Union Registry account.

To be a user in the UK part of the Union Registry you must agree to the UK Registry terms and conditions. You will also need to agree any amendments to the terms and conditions made by the UK National Administrator from time to time.

See EU ETS: charges for more information about Union Registry charges and how to pay.

Manage an ETSWAP account

At least one of your ETSWAP account users will be given ‘administrator’ status. This person will be able to manage the account and:

  • add, enable and disable users
  • update the authorisation level of users

If you have forgotten your username, you will need to contact your account administrator or your regulator.

You can reset your password yourself using the ‘Reset password’ option on the ETSWAP home page.

Login to ETSWAP.

Manage a Union Registry account

Any of your appointed ARs can request changes to your Union Registry account. This includes:

  • adding, replacing or removing ARs or AARs
  • updating contact details for ARs
  • changing your account holder details, for example the registered company address

To do this they need to login to the Union Registry, select the account to which changes are needed and make the changes on the relevant page.

You may need to send the UK National Administrator (the Environment Agency) documents to support any changes.

You can update your personal details by logging into the Union Registry and using the ‘Edit personal details’ link. You may need to provide supporting documentation, for example, if you have changed your name.

Changes will not show on your account until the UK National Administrator has approved them and received any supporting documents (if needed).

If you have forgotten your password, you can reset your own login details by following the links on the EU login screen (formally ECAS). If you have problems doing this, email

Login to the Union Registry.


These guidance documents give more help on EU ETS requirements:

EU ETS Phase III: guidance for installations

EU ETS Phase III: guidance for aircraft operators

The European Commission has also produced guidance to help operators with EU ETS requirements:

The monitoring and reporting regulation: general guidance for installations

The monitoring and reporting regulation: general guidance for aircraft operators

Help with Union Registry queries


For other EU ETS queries contact your assigned regulator

Environment Agency

Installations email:

Aircraft operators email:

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy - Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning (BEIS - OPRED)


Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)


Natural Resources Wales (NRW)


Northern Ireland - The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA)


Published 23 April 2014
Last updated 5 March 2015 + show all updates
  1. New link for UK registry terms and conditions.
  2. First published.