EU Legislation, Initiatives, etc.
DECC: The UK government intends to auction 4m allowances in its second auction as part of the EU ETS on Tuesday 24 March 2009. In 2009 the UK plans to auction a total of 25m allowances. The auction will comprise a competitive bidding facility only and the bidding window will be open between 8:00 and 10:00 GMT. The UK Government intends to charge VAT on all EU allowances auctioned in the UK.
The UK Government has also published a schedule of auction dates and volumes for subsequent auctions up to April 2010. The full schedule is available on the UK Debt Management Office's website.
Press release ~ DMO – Future auction dates ~ Approved Phase II National Allocation Plan 2008-2012 ~ Primary Participants ~
European Union Emissions Trading Scheme
DfT: Territorial Army reservists who drive for a living can take part in weekend military training after the Government secured an exemption from EU drivers' hours rules. The European Commission has agreed that professional drivers can take part in reservist exercises at the weekend without breaking general rules on weekly rest requirements.
It means a driver who finishes his normal driving duties on a Friday can complete a 34-hour period of military training and then resume his normal driving duties again on a Monday morning - as long as new safeguards are met. The new exemption will benefit volunteer reserve forces in the Territorial Army, Royal Navy Reservists, Royal Marine Reservists and Royal Auxiliary Air Force as well as cadet instructors.
The Ministry of Defence will issue guidelines that outline how drivers can manage their volunteer reserve service in accordance with the exemption. The exemption has been granted in accordance with the provisions in Article 14.1 of Regulation (EC) 561/2006, applies to the weekly rest requirements in Article 8(2) and 8(6) of Regulation (EC) 561/2006.
ScotGov: Fifty projects which will create dozens of jobs and safeguard hundreds more in Scotland's fishing, processing & aquaculture sectors will benefit from grants totalling more than £5.8m. Successful projects from the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) include making vessels more fuel efficient, improving quality in the processing sector and trialling a New Zealand system of mussel farming.
BERR: The UK has been given the go ahead by the European Commission (EC) to offer state help for the automotive industry under the Automotive Assistance Programme. The approval by the EC enables the government to support up to £1 billion of loans & loan guarantees as well as loan guarantees through the European Investment Bank (EIB) enabling funding of up to £1.3 billion.
BERR will be holding a seminar in the next couple of weeks to bring together industry, banks and the relevant trade bodies to make sure that the Automotive Assistance Programme application process runs as smoothly and effectively as possible. The scheme will be administered by BERR and the Department will be publishing guidance and application criteria for companies shortly. Companies can register an interest by emailing BERR at email@example.com.