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Navigating the EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) for US Manufacturers

CBAM - a transformative step in global trade and environmental policy - mandates importers of specific products into the EU to report the carbon emissions embedded in these goods. The transitional phase extends until January 1, 2026.

Tamara Ciochina

The European Union's Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), effective from May 2023, represents a transformative step in global trade and environmental policy. This regulation mandates that importers of specific products into the EU to report the carbon emissions embedded in these goods. The transitional phase extends until January 1, 2026, during which detailed emissions reporting is required, though no payments are enforced. Post-transition, non-compliance will result in financial penalties, and the range of covered products is expected to expand.

For US manufacturers and exporters to the EU, CBAM compliance is essential. This mechanism impacts both EU importers and their foreign suppliers, necessitating accurate emissions data to facilitate seamless trade. Products currently covered include iron and steel goods, aluminum products, iron ore, hydrogen, certain fertilizers, electricity, and cement.

Non-compliance with CBAM can lead to severe penalties and contractual liabilities, affecting business relationships and market access. To ensure compliance, US manufacturers must:

  1. Identify if their products or inputs are covered by CBAM.
  2. Prepare detailed reports on the carbon content of their products.
  3. Update supply chain contracts to include obligations for providing necessary data.
  4. Maintain efficient data flow throughout the supply chain.

CBAM compliance not only mitigates business risks but also positions companies as leaders in environmental responsibility. This regulation aligns economic incentives with carbon reduction goals, supporting the EU’s climate targets and global efforts to combat climate change.

Staying informed and proactive about CBAM requirements is not just a regulatory necessity but a strategic business imperative for US manufacturers engaging in the EU market.

Source: https://harris-sliwoski.com/blog/the-eus-carbon-border-adjustment-mechanism-cbam-and-its-relevance-to-us-manufacturers-and-exporters/