CBAM: are you ready to comply? - Tax and Legal blog


1. What is CBAM?
The Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) is a regulation pushed by the EU in the context of the EU Green Deal.
Under CBAM, Importers into the EU must pay a financial adjustment for the emissions released during the production of certain carbon-intensive goods in third countries.
The goal of the legislation is to mitigate the risk of carbon leakage and ensure the effectiveness of EU climate measures.

Do you import the following products into the EU?
Goods listed in Annex I of the Regulation (identified via CN Code):

  • Cement and certain products thereof;
  • electricity;
  • fertilisers;
  • iron and steel and certain products thereof;
  • aluminium and certain products thereof;
  • chemicals (hydrogen).

Do you source these products from non-EU countries?

  • In-scope goods originating in third countries to the EU in accordance with non-preferential rules of origin of the EU;
  • Out of scope: goods originating in CH, IS, LI, NO as they already face the same prices as EU producers.

If the answers to the above questions are yes, think of a strategy now!
Here are the milestones against which you need to roll it out!

  1. 01 October 2023: Beginning of transitional phase with quarterly reporting obligations

  2. 31 January 2024: Submission of first quarterly report

  3. 31 December 2024: Requirement to be an authorized declarant to import goods in scope of CBAM into the EU (CBAM registry) or appoint a representative established in the EU (indirect customs representative) in case of non-EU-established importers.

  4. 01 January 2026: Full roll-out of CBAM with
  • Obligation to purchase CBAM certificates
  • Submission of annual CBAM declaration incl. verification of declared emissions

2. What you need to have in place from 1 October 2023?
Importers into the EU of products in scope must comply with a quarterly reporting obligation (no tax implications yet), with the first report due on 31 January 2024. This transitional phase will enable the EU to better understand the import landscape of carbon intensive goods.
A high number of data elements are required in the quarterly reports: from product master data and transactional data to supplier information.
Besides, in the long run and once default values are not accepted anymore, one of the main challenges will reside in the calculation of greenhouse gas emissions embedded in the goods.

Businesses should ensure to have these elements easily available and correctly defined so that quarterly reports can be dynamically created based on actual imports into the EU from 1 October 2023.

3. Overview of data requirements
Below is a general overview of the data that needs to be monitored and reported during the transitional period as importer into the EU.
Please note that the detailed data requirements depend on the good in question as the Annex of the Implementing Regulation foresees numerous sector-specific requirements referring, in particular, to the production route (technology) chosen for a good. In addition to that, the precise data requirements will also depend on the methodology chosen for determining the specific embedded emissions as this entails using different parameters, values and assumptions.

Commodity details

  • Type of goods as identified by their HS and CN code
  • Country of origin of the imported goods according to the EU’s rules of non-preferential origin
  • Description of the goods
  • Quantity of the goods imported into the EU expressed in tonnes
  • Customs procedure
  • Imported quantity per customs procedure
  • Goods measures (net mass, supplementary unit, type of measurement unit)
  • Installation where the goods were produced, identified by the following data:
    o Applicable (UN/LOCODE) of the location
    o Company name and address of the installation
    o Geographical coordinates of the main emission source of the installation
  • For steel goods, the identification number of the specific steel mill where a particular batch of raw materials was produced, where known.
  • Optional: precursor materials for complex goods (as per Implementing Regulation Annex II)

Emission details
Specific embedded direct emissions of the goods:

  • Amount of specific embedded direct emissions
  • The production routes used for the production of the good (technology)
  • Sector specific parameters
  • If default values are used until July 2024, specification of reason

Specific embedded indirect emissions of the goods:

  • Amount of specific embedded indirect emissions
  • Amount of electricity consumed, expressed in megawatt hours, for each product imported
  • Specification whether actual or default data is used
  • Applicable emission factor of electricity

Note: Depending on the good in question, additional information and description on the methodological basis may be required

Carbon price paid in third countries

  • Type of product indicated by CN code
  • Type of carbon price
  • Country, where a carbon price is due
  • Form of rebate or any other form of compensation available in that country
  • Amount of the carbon price due, a description of the carbon pricing instrument and possible compensation mechanisms
  • Indication of legal basis for carbon pricing scheme in the country including copy of legal basis
  • Quantity of embedded direct or indirect emissions covered
  • Quantity of embedded emissions covered by any rebate or other form of compensation, including free allocations, if applicable.

What to do now?
If you know by now that your business is in scope of CBAM, you should get ready for the first phase.

However, do not consider this a job done as there is more to come very soon: registration in the CBAM registry, anticipation of the cost of future CBAM certificates, intelligent reporting solutions, overall ESG strategy, review of strategic sourcing etc.

Feel overwhelmed?
Please contact us so we can discuss your specific situation and assess how we can support you!

Key contacts

Hevin Demir - Business Pic 1

Hevin Demir - Partner, Global Trade Advisory

Hevin is a Partner with a legal background (attorney at law) and she is head of Deloitte Switzerland’s Customs & Global Trade Practice. She gained experience in various customs topics in consultancy as well as industry for many years. Her focus is on utilizing free trade agreements and obtaining efficiency and transparency by automation of customs and compliance processes.


Philipp Weber-Lortsch 110x110

Philipp Weber-Lortsch  - Senior Manager, Global Trade Advisory

Philipp is an international trade lawyer who specialises in trade compliance with a focus on international sanctions, embargoes, export controls and customs regulations. He regularly designs, reviews and optimises (Trade) Compliance Management Systems (CMS) including Business Partner Due Diligence (BPDD/ CDD) processes based on international standards.




Clemence Bauden - Assistant Manager, Global Trade Advisory

Clemence is an enthusiastic Trade Compliance professional with over 10 years of experience in the medical diagnostics industry. Her expertise includes customs valuation, country of origin determination, HS classification, denied party screening, cross trade, auditing, risk assessment, Brexit assessment, Incoterms, broker management and rationalisation. She is an active and creative contributor with proven history of effective cross-collaboration, advocating Trade Compliance and has excellent project management skills applied to various large IT and regulatory projects.



Gina Rueegg - Senior Consultant, Global Trade Advisory

Gina is a Senior Consultant in the Global Trade Advisory (GTA) Team in Zürich and has worked in Global Trade Compliance and Customs for over five years now. As part of the GTA team, Gina supports clients in ensuring compliance with the regulatory requirements governing global trade in goods. This includes sustainability requirements affecting the company’s international supply chain, international trade law, sanctions and export control and customs provisions.



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