The EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM)

The Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) is a new EU instrument for preventing carbon leakage, that is, shifting of the production of goods to non-EU countries where there is a lower or no carbon cost associated with their production. The mechanism is applied to so-called CBAM goods imported to the EU from outside the EU and specified in an EU Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2023/956 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 May 2023 establishing a carbon border adjustment mechanism). It is part of the EU Fit for 55 Package. 

The objective of the mechanism is for the prices of certain goods imported to the EU to reflect more accurately their carbon content. The CBAM also aims to encourage third countries, foreign producers and EU importers to reduce their emissions.

The CBAM has commenced in its transitional phase as of 1 October 2023. Only reporting obligations arise during the transitional period and financial obligations apply from 2026.

Who do the new obligations apply to?

The obligations imposed by the CBAM apply to all who import CBAM goods, where the total intrinsic value of the CBAM goods within the consignment exceeds a value of  €150.

Imports mean any imports to EU from outside the EU, including e.g., imports of goods ordered online and imports of gifts. 

CBAM goods are listed in Annex 1 to the CBAM Regulation by their CN code. The following are included:

  • certain iron and steel goods (derivative goods such as screws, bolts and washers) and iron ore
  • certain fertilisers
  • certain aluminium goods
  • certain cement goods
  • hydrogen
  • electricity.

EPA is the National Competent Authority and Revenue (Customs Division) is the Customs Authority for this regulation. Both authorities have contacted importers (letter of 21 December 2023) who may have obligations under this regulation and have commenced outreach activities through Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC) and the Customs Consultative Committee. 

To facilitate reporting and communications the European Commission has developed an IT system for the transitional period, called the CBAM Transitional Registry. This system is accessible to reporting declarants and all competent authorities in the EU. 


What should I do now?

Further information, including reporting templates and links to the Transitional Registry is available on the EU Commission’s web pages and a very useful Q&A document can be downloaded from their site.

If you are an importer of CBAM goods or a supplier to the EU of CBAM goods you should familiarise yourself with the information on the Commission’s webpages.

Access to the Transitional Registry for Irish economic operators will be granted by Customs through the normal EU Customs Trader Portal using your Economic Operators Registration and Identification number (EORI) number. If you have queries on this process please contact

All CBAM reporting declarants should be registered on the Transitional Registry as soon as possible to facilitate uploading their first quarterly reports. 

Some detailed guidance on how to access the transitional registry for the first time is given in the latest Communication from EPA and Customs which you can download here January 2024 along with the previous communication from December 2023.

The “reporting declarant” is the entity which is responsible for the reporting of embedded emissions of imported goods. In principle, the reporting declarant is the “Importer”. However, in practice there are different options depending on the person lodging the customs declaration.

In line with the options provided under the Union Customs Code (UCC), the reporting declarant can be either:

  • The importer who lodges a customs declaration for release for free circulation of goods in its own name and on its own behalf;
  • The person, holding an authorisation to lodge a customs declaration referred to in Article 182(1) of the UCC, who declares the importation of goods; or
  • The indirect customs representative, where the customs declaration is lodged by the indirect customs representative appointed in accordance with Article 18 of the UCC, when the importer is established outside the Union or where the indirect customs representative has agreed to the reporting obligations in accordance with Article 32 of the CBAM

Important Update from EU Commission 29 January 2024

Technical issues related to the CBAM Transitional Registry and Import Control System 2 (ICS2) - European Commission (


Please see EU Commission web pages with the detailed guidance for importers, installation operators (i.e. manufacturers of CBAM goods) and the sector specific information.

You should keep records of the following to help you put together your quarterly reports (the first report for October 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023 is to be submitted no later than 31 January 2024):

  • Quantity of imports (in tonnes or in MWh for the importation of electricity)
  • Combined Nomenclature (CN) Codes of the goods
  • Country of origin
  • Default values for the embedded emissions (as published by the Commission in December 2023).
  • As an alternate to default values you may use: Installation-specific information where goods were produced, including overall installation emissions. 
    • Production routes
    • Specific direct emissions of goods (CO2e per tonne)
    • Indirect emissions data (insofar as relevant) for:
      • Electricity consumption
      • Indication of use of actual emissions or default values
      • Corresponding emission factors
      • Amount of indirect emissions of goods (CO2 e per tonne)

The table below from the European Commission webinars presents the submission dates for the transitional period. It also presents the dates by which modification of the submitted reports are possible.




2023: October – December

2024: January 31

2024: July 31

2024: January – March

2024: April 30

2024: July 31

2024: April – June

2024: July 31

2024: August 30

2024: July – September

2024: October 31

2024: November 30

2024: October – December

2025: January 31

2025: February 28

2025: January – March

2025: April 30

2025: May 31

2025: April – June

2025: July 31

2025: August 31

2025: July – September

2025: October 31

2025: November 30

2025: October – December

2026: January 31

2026: February 28

Further information

If you have a query that is not answered by the website material, please contact:

  • the CBAM National Competent Authority (Environmental Protection Agency) at (for general implementation queries); or
  • the CBAM Customs Authority at (for Customs-related queries, including access to the Transitional Registry).