The fee schedule for Certificate Holders has been updated and will come into effect on 1 January 2024.
In Appendix 1 of the fee schedule, a number of example scenarios are provided to illustrate the practical application of the schedule. In addition, our FAQs below should help in answering any questions that arise.
If you have any matters that require interpretation or clarification please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What changes are being introduced from 1 January 2024?
A: There are two changes to the fee schedule from 1 January 2024: i) the annual fee will now be invoiced retrospectively in January for the previous year (see Section 1); and ii) clarification is of the treatment of those Certificate Holders that have both Biomass Producer and End-user within their (single site) certificate scope (see Section 2).
Q: What fee increases were introduced from 1 January 2023?
A: All Certificate Holder fees were increased:
– The annual fee applicable to all Certificate Holders was increased from €800 to €1,000;
– The transaction fee applicable to Biomass Producers was increased from €0.15 to €0.19/tonne for pellets and from €0.08 to €0.10/tonne for chips; and
– The fixed transaction fee for Traders and End-users was increased from €25,000 to €30,000 for annual volumes of >250,00 tonnes, from €10,000 to €12,000 for annual volumes of 100,000 to 249,999 tonnes, and from €1,000 to €1,2000 for annual volumes of 1 to 99,999 tonnes.
Q: Why were the fees increased from 1 January 2023?
A: This was the first increase to our fees since they came into effect in 2016 and the decision to do so was threefold:
– First, to allow us to continue to run the SBP certification scheme across all our operating geographies to the high quality expected by our Certificate Holders and to develop our core services, specifically the Audit Platform and the Data Transfer System. It also allows us to invest in key strategic projects, which in turn will provide both value to our stakeholders and the opportunity for future growth of our certification scheme and services.
– Second, to offset the loss of recurring income from the terminated Certificate Holders in Russia and Belarus during 2022; and
– Third, to offset inflationary increases in our cost base, including costs of staff, consultants, service providers, governance meetings, travel and insurance. We wish to continue to offer competitive rates to our core team, contractors and Committee members, as well as be able to invest in additional staff.
Q: A new fee schedule was implemented from 1 January 2022, what changed?
A: Two changes were introduced. First, from 1 January 2022 all Certificate Holders must pay an annual fee of €800. Second, a new category (Category 1) of Trader/End-user was introduced for those selling/using an annual volume (over the 12-month period 1 October to 30 September) of between 1 and 99,999 tonnes of biomass with an SBP claim. Those Traders/End-users falling into Category 1 attract a fixed transaction fee of €1,000 for the 12-month period.
Q: Will Certificate Holders pay the annual fee in addition to the volume/transaction-based fee?
A: No, it is an either or situation that depends on the amount of the volume/transaction-based fee. If the volume/transaction-based fee amounts to more than €800 over the 12-month period 1 October to 30 September, then a credit note will be issued for €800 and Certificate Holders will pay the remaining balance. If the volume/transaction-based fee amounts to less than €800 over the 12-month period, Certificate Holders will pay only the annual fee of €800. Therefore, the annual fee acts as a minimum fee payable by Certificate Holders.
Q: Why was an annual fee been introduced?
A: Introducing an annual fee is a much fairer way to share the costs of the SBP certification system across all Certificate Holders.
Q: When will Certificate Holders be invoiced for the annual fee?
A: Certificate Holders will receive an invoice for the annual fee shortly after 1 January each year.
Q: Are suspended Certificate Holders required to pay the annual fee?
A: Yes. All active and suspended Certificate Holders are obliged to pay the annual fee. Active and suspended Certificate Holders incur costs associated with the SBP IT platforms (for example, the Data Transfer System) and therefore it is both fair and proportionate to share those costs across those who incur them.
SBP regards the status of suspension as a temporary – it gives Certificate Holders time to address any non-conformity that has led to the suspension, with the objective of regaining certified status as soon as possible. To enable that, suspended Certificate Holders remain registered on all SBP IT platforms. Unlike terminated Certificate Holders, who would need to undergo a main audit to regain certified status.
Q: What are the fees be used for?
A: The fees are the sole income of SBP and cover all the running costs of the organisation. See Financial information for a breakdown of how our annual income is spent.
Q: Why does the fee for wood pellets differ from that for woodchips?
A: The two categories of fuel – wood pellets and woodchips – have significantly different net calorific values and as a result attract different fees. Wood pellets and woodchips may be readily differentiated by physical inspection, however, where such physical inspection is not definitive biomass with a net calorific value greater than 15MJ/kg shall be defined as wood pellet and that with a net calorific value of less than 15MJ/kg shall be defined as woodchip. Note: woodchips shall be recorded in the Data Transfer System on a wet tonne basis.
Q: Who will determine the volumes of SBP-certified material that will form the basis of the ultimate fee, and where will the data be taken from?
A: SBP will determine the volumes based on data/transactions recorded in the Data Transfer System (DTS).
Q: Will the SBP accredited Certification Bodies be collecting the fees from Certificate Holders, like in the FSC and PEFC schemes?
A: No, SBP will collect the fees itself.
Q: What currency will the fees be invoiced in?
A: The fees will be invoiced in Euros.
Q: Will the underlying calculation of the fee be supplied to each Certificate Holder with the invoice?
A: Biomass Producers’ invoices will include DTS Transaction Batch IDs, allowing verification of the transactions and comparison with the relevant DTS transactions report. Traders’ and End-users’ invoices will be accompanied by the DTS transactions report for the invoiced quarter.
Q: What should I do if I require just one invoice to cover the fees of multiple facilities in my group of companies?
A: Please contact SBP at email@example.com as soon as possible.
Q: What happens in the case of non-payment of fees?
A: Non-payment will trigger a payment reminder and, in last instance, a suspension of the certificate and use of the Data Transfer System (DTS) will be disabled.
Q: How will the quarterly billing of Certificate Holders be handled administratively?
A: Certificate Holders will be invoiced directly by SBP.