28 January 2024

Who must file the report? Defining the CBAM Role

With the first reporting deadline for the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) literally around the corner, due on January 31st, it is crucial for importers and representatives to clearly determine who bears the responsibility for submitting the CBAM report, both in the short and in long term.

Before diving into the main topic of this blog, it is worth mentioning that the first three reports – the third due on July 31st, 2024 – are simplified versions, as purely based on data retrievable from the customs declarations and the official EU default values. Starting from the report due on October 31st, 2024, supplier engagement data such as contact details and real factory emission intensities will become mandatory. While importing companies might currently prefer to outsource their CBAM reporting to their direct or indirect representatives, the supplier engagement, probably the most time-intensive part, might still lie under their responsibility.

According to the official guidelines released on December 13, 2023, and the latest updates from national authorities, there are three different types of roles to be selected by the CBAM declarant in the EU CBAM Transitional Registry, with numerous combinations of who can fulfill them. In the following paragraphs, we will detail each of these specific scenarios.

 

Importer for all goods

In the following cases ‘Importer for all goods’ shall be selected in the “Header info” section on the EU’s Transitional CBAM Registry:

 

  • When the importer himself lodged the customs declarations for the goods listed in the CBAM declaration.
  • When the importer submits a consolidated CBAM declaration for which the importer and a direct customs declarant lodged customs declarations of the goods in the CBAM report. 
  • If the direct representative acts on behalf of the importer, hence registers into the EU’s CBAM Transitional Registry with the importer’s EORI number, and submits the CBAM report containing goods for which the importer and/or the direct representative lodged customs declarations for.

In all these cases, both the CBAM declarant’s and the importer’s information shall be filled with the importer’s information in the “Header info” menu bar part of the EU’s Transitional CBAM Registry. The representative fields shall remain empty, even if a direct representative lodged the customs declarations. Also, the importer and representative fields under the “Good imported” menu bar shall remain empty, as the importer is always the same and the direct representative has not to be mentioned in the CBAM report (more on this in the conclusion).

 

Representative for all goods

“Representative for all goods” shall only be selected if an indirect customs representative lodged the customs declarations of the goods in the CBAM declaration and therefore has the obligation to act as a CBAM declarant on behalf of the importer(s). The indirect customs representative shall only select this option if he acts as CBAM declarant for goods solely imported by his clients. The indirect customs representative can only submit one CBAM report, which must include all the goods and customs information of all his clients.

 

In this case, the indirect customs representative should fill out the declarant’s and the representative’s fields with his own information in the “Header info” menu bar of the EU’s Transitional CBAM Registry. The importer field in the “Header info” menu bar sheet shall remain empty, since the importer’s information will have to be disclosed in the “Good imported” menu bar, for each good separately.

 

Importer for some goods / Representative for some goods

“Importer for some goods / Representative for some goods” shall only be selected by the indirect representative, if he is acting as CBAM declarant and consolidates a CBAM report for which the final importers are both his clients and the indirect customs representative himself.

In this case, the indirect customs representative should fill out the declarant’s and the representative’s fields with his own information in the “Header info” menu tab. The importer field in the “Header info” menu tab sheet shall remain empty, as the importers need to be selected for each good singularly in the “Good imported” menu tab. 


Conclusion

According to the official CBAM rules, only the importer and the indirect customs representative can become CBAM declarants. A direct customs representative cannot be held accountable for CBAM reporting in any case, as the importer would still remain liable for it and the EU wants to keep the entity who lodged the customs declarations also liable for CBAM, in order to avoid conflicts. Still, a direct customs representative can offer the service of generating the CBAM reports in XML format and uploading them on behalf of the importer, while the importer itself remains liable and therefore appears as CBAM declarant.

 

We at ClimEase can assist both importers and customs representatives to generate CBAM reports starting from a simple excel template or your own raw data. Latecomers can count on us, as the whole report generation process takes us only some minutes. Get in touch with us if you have any questions.

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Get in touch

Avoid fines and hassles. Contact us now. 

or email us at contact@climease.com

With ClimEase’s innovative software as a service (SaaS) solution, CBAM compliance will not only become effortless but will also allow you to spot new low-carbon-tax suppliers (more on this coming soon).

Nicolas Endress

Nicolas Endress

Founder of ClimEase