Eurogas & 45 other organisations call for urgent action allowing imports of biomethane and biomethane-based fuels under the UDB.

The signatories call for immediate action of the European Commission to ensure the full recognition of imported biomethane and biomethane-based fuels in the Union Database.

As conveyed in November 20231, the European Commission has expressed an intention to exclude the certification of biomethane and by extension biomethane-based fuels when these rely on transport through extra-EU grids.

Immediate action is needed: the Union Database for liquid fuels was launched in January 2024 and will be launched for gaseous fuels by no later than November 2024. However, no limitation should exist for fuels which demonstrated full compliance of sustainability and GHG emissions saving requirements equivalent to those defined in Renewable Energy Directive. This decision will hinder imports of biomethane and biomethane-based fuels, such as biomethanol, from third countries.

The use of biomethane and biomethane-based fuels should be encouraged, and using existing transport infrastructure should not penalise end-users in the EU who rely on these fuels to achieve the EU climate targets. The European Commission’s proposed approach also sends a negative signal for hydrogen and its derivatives, which will rely on the Union Database and for which imports are considered of critical importance by the European Commission, as in the REPowerEU with a target of 10 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen imported.

Overall, the attractiveness of the EU market for these renewable fuels will be damaged. It will jeopardize investments made by partners in third countries and erode their long-term trust in regulatory stability. This move hampers the global trade of these products and repercussions for EU exports should be expected. It will ultimately hinder the achievement of the EU energy and climate goal.