Regulation (EU) 2023/2405 on ensuring a level playing field for sustainable air transport (ReFuelEU Aviation)

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Series Details 2023/2405
Publication Date 06/11/2023
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Regulation (EU) 2023/2405 - adopted by the co-legislators on 18 October 2023 - seeking to ensure a level playing field for sustainable air transport. It also also known as the ReFuelEU Aviation initiative. This is a text with EEA relevance.

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This Regulation lays down harmonised rules on the uptake and supply of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). It applies to aircraft operators, to airports and managing bodies in the European Union (EU), and to aviation fuel suppliers. It only applies to commercial air transport flights, without prejudice to paragraph 3 of the Act. It seeks to oblige fuel supplier to blend increasing levels of sustainable aviation fuels in jet fuel taken on-board at EU airports, including synthetic low carbon fuels (known as e-fuels).

The draft law was unveiled by the European Commission on 14 July 2021, as part of the so-called Fit for 55 legislative package. It followed up on the adoption of the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy in 2020, which set out an aim to boost the uptake of SAFs. These fuels were regarded as holding the potential to deliver a major contribution to achieving the increased climate target across the European Union (EU) for 2030 and the EU's climate neutrality objective. The Council of the European Union adopted its general approach to the draft law on 22 June 2022, followed by the European Parliament on 7 July. An informal agreement between the co-legislators on a compromise text for this file was reached on 25 April 2023. The final text was endorsed by the Parliament on 13 September, followed by the Council on 9 October. The Act was signed by the co-legislators on 18 October 2023 and published in the Official Journal on 6 November 2023.

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Commentary and Analysis
European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Procedure File for Proposal on Sustainable aviation fuels (ReFuelEU Aviation Initiative) (2021/0205(COD))
European Parliament: Legislative Train Schedule: ReFuelEU Aviation - Sustainable Aviation Fuels
Transporrt&Environment: Press Release, 14/07/2021: EU axes airlines’ fuel tax exemption in drive for greener fuels
SkyNRG: News, 15/07/2021: A summary of the proposed Sustainable Aviation Fuel mandate
EurActiv: Links Dossier, September 2021: Sustainable aviation fuels
Transport & Environment (T&E): Position Paper, November 2021: ReFuelEU Aviation: T&E’s recommendations - An overdue first step to reduce aviation’s climate impact
The European Files, 08/12/2021: Aviation Fuels in Europe ReFuel EU Aviation: A route to net zero European aviation
European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS): Briefing, 10/12/2021: 'Fit for 55' legislative package: ReFuel EU Aviation - Initial Appraisal of a European Commission Impact Assessment
Fuelling Flight initiative, February 2022: Consensus Statement on Fuelling Flight: Response to the ReFuelEU Proposal
European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS): At a Glance, 24/03/2022: Sustainable aviation fuels
European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS): At a Glance, 30/06/2022: RefuelEU Aviation
International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT): Briefing, 18/09/2022: Considerations for the ReFuelEU Aviation trilogue
Eurocontrol, 17/11/2022: Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) in Europe: EUROCONTROL and ECAC cooperate on SAF map
Transport & Environment, 26/04/2023: EU agrees to world’s largest green fuels mandate for aviation
International Air Transport Association (IATA): Press Release, 26/04/2023: Statement on Refuel EU Proposals
Airports Council International (ACI Europe): Press Release, 26/04/2023: European aviation industry welcomes EU trilogue agreement on RefuelEU Aviation regulation as an important step towards decarbonisation of the aviation sector
Airlines for Europe (A4E): Press Release, 26/04/2023: Agreement on ReFuel EU is a step forward in letting SAF flow in Europe
Hydrogen Europe: News, 26/04/2023: ReFuelEU Aviation agreement gives H2 key role
Norton Rose Fulbright: Publications, May 2023: Update on the EU’s latest proposals regarding Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)
ING Think: Article, 11/05/2023: Climate targets expedite the take-off of sustainable aviation fuels
European Regions Airline Association (ERAA), 08/06/2023: European aviation industry calls for swift adoption of ReFuelEU Aviation Regulation
European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS): Briefing, 30/08/2023: ReFuelEU Aviation initiative: Sustainable aviation fuels and the fit for 55 package
European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS): At a Glance, 06/09/2023: RefuelEU Aviation
S&P Global: Commodity Insights, 13/09/2023: EU Parliament adopts new targets set to boost sustainable aviation fuel supply
Ernst & Young (EY): Tax Alerts, 01/11/2023: EU Council adopts new renewable energy rules and rules for promotion of sustainable aviation fuels under Fit for 55

Euronews, 14/07/2021: EU wants to tax aviation fuel and phase out polluting cars by 2035
Reuters, 14/07/2021: EU targets airlines in major climate policy shakeup
EurActiv, 16/07/2021: EU green jet fuel proposal shuns crop-based biofuels, focuses on next generation
Biofuels International, 16/07/2021: Aviation bodies welcome RefuelEU initiative
Delano, 01/02/2022: Luxembourg co-signs demand for higher sustainable aviation fuels target
EurActiv, 26/04/2023: Deal struck to make sustainable jet fuels mandatory for all EU flights
Reuters, 26/04/2023: EU agrees binding green fuel targets for aviation
Euronews, 26/04/2023: More sustainable fuels, less 'tankering': How new EU rules aim to cut aviation's enormous emissions
EurActiv, 14/09/2023: Parliament backs law to boost green aviation fuels in EU flights

EUR-LEX: COM(2021)561: Proposal for a Regulation on ensuring a level playing field for sustainable air transport
EUR-LEX: SWD(2021)633: Staff Working Document accompanying the Proposal - Impact Assessment
EUR-LEX: SWD(2021)634: Staff Working Document accompanying the Proposal - Executive Summary of the Impact Assessment
European Commission: Better Regulation: Have Your Say: Sustainable aviation fuels – ReFuelEU Aviation
European Commission: Press Release, 14/07/2021: European Green Deal: Commission proposes transformation of EU economy and society to meet climate ambitions
European Commission: Questions and Answers - Sustainable transport, infrastructure and fuels (14 July 2021)
European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS): Briefing, 30/05/2022: ReFuelEU Aviation initiative: Summary of the Commission proposal and the Parliament's draft committee report
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 02/06/2022: Fit for 55 package: Council adopts its position on three texts relating to the transport sector
European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS): Briefing, 14/02/2023: ReFuelEU Aviation initiative: Summary of Parliament's and Council's positions
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 25/04/2023: Council and Parliament agree to decarbonise the aviation sector
European Parliament: Press Release, 25/04/2023: Fit for 55: Parliament and Council reach deal on greener aviation fuels
EPP EP Group: Newsroom, 25/04/2023: Taking-off towards decarbonisation of air transport
European Commission: Press Release, 26/04/2023: European Green Deal: new law agreed to cut aviation emissions by promoting sustainable aviation fuels
Finnish Government: Press Release, 27/04/2023: Provisional agreement in the EU on the use of alternative fuels in aviation, Finland's priority for flexibility included
S&D EP Group: Newsroom, 07/07/2023: S&Ds: With ReFuelEU, the aviation sector will become by 2050 one of the most green ways of transport for EU citizens
Greens/EFA EP Group: Press Release, 12/09/2023: MEPs to vote on greener flights in new rules for aviation fuels
Renew Europe EP Group: News, 13/09/2023: ReFuelEU: Renew Europe welcomes ambitious and credible legislation to decarbonise air transport
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 09/10/2023: RefuelEU aviation initiative: Council adopts new law to decarbonise the aviation sector

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