Commission to reveal tariff law changes on 15 December

Miriam Siers


The European Commission will reveal key changes it plans to make to a controversial new gas tariff law at a public information session on 15 December in Brussels, a spokeswoman has said.

It has also pushed back the comitology process, originally scheduled to begin in December, to take place in April and June 2016. Comitology is when new EU rules pass through various committees, made up of the commission, European Parliament and the Council of the EU, before they are adopted as law.

The EU network code on harmonised gas tariffs has faced an uphill battle in its creation over the past few years. Shippers, transmission system operators and regulators have not found common ground on how tariffs should be calculated.

Most recently, the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) told stakeholders it would not issue a recommendation on the draft law – a key step in the rulemaking process (see 16 October 2015). This was because ACER’s board of directors could not agree on a proposed opinion.

The commission has committed to limiting further delays to the tariff legislation as much as possible, the spokeswoman said. The full version of the commission’s proposal will not be public until the end of February.

“The commission is currently in the process of working on both the impact assessment and the legislative text, in cooperation with ACER and ENTSOG. Both will be published on the comitology register end of February 2016 ahead of the March member state meeting,” she said.

One compliance officer at a major European gas supplier said the industry was nervous about the potential changes the commission would make to the final proposal on the new laws.

“We have no idea what sort of changes they will make,” he said.

The commission’s proposals will be sent to member states before they are made public.

EU states will be meeting in Brussels on 10 and 11 March 2016 to view the English language texts of the tariff network code, as well as an amendment to the capacity allocation mechanism network code, ahead of comitology. The first comitology meeting with translated texts is scheduled for 28 and 29 April. The second meeting, where a vote on the rules is expected, will be held on 29 and 30 June.

Details on the December information session will be published on the commission’s website shortly, the spokeswoman said.


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