Energy Community certification

Pursuant to the Third Energy Package acquis, a Transmission System Operator ( TSO) can only be approved and designated as a TSO following a specific certification procedure. This procedure is applicable to all TSOs for their initial certification and subsequently at any time when a reassessment of a TSO's compliance with the unbundling rules is required.

The aim of the certification procedure is to verify whether the applicant TSO complies with the unbundling provisions of the electricity and gas Directives. Unbundling is the separation of energy supply and generation from the operation of transmission networks. Under the Third Energy Package acquis, unbundling must take place in one of three ways, depending on the preferences of the country in question. Operators that comply with the unbundling rules can apply for certification with their national energy regulator. 

With the Decision 2011/02/MC-EnC, the Energy Community adopted the Third Energy Package acquis and the respective certification procedure with some adaptations. 

The table below displays the Energy Community TSOs that have so far undergone, or are in the middle of, the certification procedure. 

Certification procedure

certification steps

Status of transmission service operator certification 

  • Certification of electricity TSO: Elektromreža Srbije - EMS
    Certifications steps
    EMS application
     25 October 2016
    AERS Preliminary Decision
     26 January 2017
    ECS Notification
     15 February 2017
    ECS Certification Hearing
     22 May 2017
    ECRB Opinion
     2 June 2017
    Secretariat's Opinion
     15 June 2017
    AERS Final Decision
     8 September 2017
    ECS Request for Reassessment of Certification
     20 September 2017
    AERS Response on the Request for Reassessment of Certification
     3 May 2018
    Additional Information

    EMS is a joint stock company and its founder and the only shareholder is the Republic of Serbia. The owner’s rights are exercised by the Government.

    In the period after the Secretariat issued its negative Opinion 3/17 on the AERS Preliminary Decision concerning the certification of EMS with a finding that separation of control within the State has not taken place even in its most basic requirement, the designation of two public bodies, and before the adoption of the Final Decision of AERS, the Serbian Parliament adopted amendments to the Law on Ministries. Article 4 of the Law on Ministries, specifying the competences of the ministries were amended in a way that two different public bodies (Ministers) were given right to preparing “proposals for acts on appointment and dismissal of management bodies” of EMS on the one hand and of the companies performing activity of production and supply of electricity and gas. On the one hand, the Secretariat’s Opinion was not made on the same set of facts and laws as AERS’ Final Decision. On the other hand, the Final Decision on the basis of new legislation raises a number of issues on which the Secretariat had no opportunity to give its Opinion to AERS and which seem to require a more in-depth against the Electricity Directives provisions on ownership unbundling. Therefore, the Secretariat submitted to AERS a request for re-opening the certification procedure pursuant to Article 10(4)c) of the Electricity Directive, to which AERS responded negatively and failed to reassess compliance of EMS with the unbundling criteria despite the changed legal framework.

  • Certification of gas TSO: "Yugorosgaz-transport" Niš
    Certifications steps
    Yugorosgaz application
     12 August 2016
    AERS Preliminary Decision
     12 December 2016
    ECS Notification
     22 December 2016
    ECS Certification Hearing
     10 March 2017
    ECRB Opinion (received 23 March 2017)
     14 March 2017
    Secretariat's Opinion
     22 April 2017
    AERS Final Decision
     20 June 2017
    AERS Decision on Revocation of Certification
     15 July 2019
    Additional Information

    Yugorosgaz-transport is a company established in October 2015 for the purpose of natural gas transport in Southern Serbia. Its owner is Yugorosgaz JSC, Belgrade, owned by Gazprom (50%), Srbijagas (25%) and Centrex Europe Energy & Gas AG (25%).

    The AERS has made conditional certification of Yugorosgaz-transport as independent system operator (ISO) in both Preliminary and Final Decision. Both ECRB and ECS have concluded in their opinions that Yugorosgaz-transport is not able to operate the system effectively and independently from the system owner Yugorosgaz, for reasons of  unavailability of sufficient resources and the control of Yugorosgaz and Gazprom over Yugorosgaz-Transport, and also have emphasized the importance of assessment of security of supply issue, given that Gazprom, company established in a third country, holds 50% of shares of Yugorosgaz-transpot's owner, Yugorosgaz. Due to the certification of Yugorosgaz-Transport under the Independent System Operator model by AERS without fulfilling the requirements, the Ministerial Council adopted a decision establishing a breach by Republic of Serbia in Case ECS 10/17 and AERS has revoked its certification decision.

  • Certification of gas TSO: “Gastrans” Novi Sad
    Certifications steps
    Gastrans application
     25 June 2019
    AERS Preliminary Decision
     15 August 2019
    ECS Notification
     22 August 2019
    ECRB Opinion
     10 December 2019
    Secretariat's Opinion
     18 December 2019
    AERS Final Decision
     21 February 2020
    Additional Information

    Gastrans is a project developer of natural gas pipeline project, that aims at transporting natural gas from Turkey (using capacities of the so-called TurkStream pipeline) and Bulgaria, and it was expected to start commercial operation on 1 January 2020. It is ultimately owned by Srbijagas (49%) and Russian natural gas holding Gazprom (51%). AERS certified Gastrans according to ITO model, and exempted it from TEP rules (unbundling, TPA and tariff setting) for period of 20 years.

    The Secretariat's opinions and AERS’s decisions were diverging in both procedures on the exemption of Gastrans and the certification of Gastrans. In its Opinion 01/2019 on Exemption Decision, Secretariat concluded that the exemption of Gastarns’s Project from TEP rules is detrimental to competition due to dominant positions of Gastrans’s shareholders on Serbian gas market (Gazprom and Srbijagas) and that subsequently, the certification of Gastrans as an ITO is not an option, due to unlawful exemption from TEP rules and due to fact that ITO model is not applicable to a case which did not belong to a vertically integrated undertaking on 6 October 2011.However, AERS did not take of the utmost account the Opinion of Secretariat and has certified Gastrans as an independent transmission operator.

  • Certification of gas TSO: Srbijagas  Certification steps yet to be initiated
    Additional Information

    Srbijagas is a vertically incorporated undertaking, which still holds the licenses for transmission system operation, distribution and supply, non-complying with the rules on unbundling of the Second Energy Package, subject to dispute settlement rules in cases ECS 9/13 and ECS 9/13S.

    Srbijagas has established company Transportgas Srbija which is currently only a shell company, dependent on its parent Srbijagas and AERS has rejected the certification request submitted by Transportgas Srbija.

  • Certification of electricity TSO: OST
    Certifications steps
    OST's Application
     13 July 2016
    ERE Preliminary Decision
     6 October 2016
    ECS Certification Hearing
     14 December 2016
    ECRB Opinion
     19 December 2016
    Secretariat's Opinion
     23 January 2017
    ERE Final Decision
     15 March 2017
    Additional Information

    The electricity TSO, OST, is a joint stock company, owned by the Republic of Albania and exercise of state-ownership in OST is in charge of the Ministry of Finance and Economy of the Republic of Albania (successor of the Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship).

    Upon adoption of the ERE’s final certification decision that contains the conditions addressed in the Secretariat’s opinion, the decision has been amended three times in terms postponing the deadlines for fulfillment of the respective conditions. With the amendments to the Power Sector Law of 15 May 2020 the conditions from the Secretariat’s Opinion and ERE’s final certification decision of OST, related to the transfer of tasks from the Ministry of Energy to the current TSO owner the Ministry of Economy have been fulfilled.

     

  • Certification of gas TSO: ALBGAZ
    Certifications steps
    Albgaz's Application
     20 February 2017
    ERE Preliminary Decision
     26 May 2017
    ECS Certification Hearing
     11 July 2017
    Secretariat's Opinion
     2 October 2017
    ERE Final Decision
     8 November 2017
    Additional Information

    The gas TSO, Albgaz is a joint stock company and its founder is the Republic of Albania. The state’s shareholding rights in Albgaz are exercised by the Ministry of Finance and Economy of the Republic of Albania (successor of the Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship).

    Upon adoption of the ERE’s final certification decision that contains the conditions addressed in the Secretariat’s opinion, the decision has been amended three times postponing the deadlines for fulfillment of the respective conditions. In particular, the deadline for fulfillment of the conditions related to obtaining the ownership certificate for all Albgaz’s assets and for the transfer of the competences of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy concerning the decision-making of network planning and construction to the Ministry of Finance and Economy, which requires amendments to the Natural Gas Law, is prolonged until 20 December 2020. By not fulfilling these conditions effective unbundling is prevented and Albgaz remains conditionally certified.

     

  • Certification of gas TSO: TAP
    Certifications steps
    Joint Exemption Decision
     13 June 2013
    TAP's Application
     1 July 2015
    ERE Preliminary Decision
     31 October 2015
    ECS Certification Hearing
     8 July 2015
    ECRB Opinion
     26 January 2016
    Secretariat's Opinion
     2 February 2016
    ERE Final Decision
     31 March 2016
    Additional Information

    The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (hereinafter "TAP") is a pipeline project aimed to transport the gas produced from the gas fields of Azerbaijan to European gas markets via Greece, Albania and Italy. TAP is being developed by TAP AG, a company incorporated under the laws of Switzerland and owned by several companies, active in electricity and gas markets. The commercial operation of the project is to start by 31 December 2020.

    At the moment of adoption of Preliminary and Final Certification decisions, the TAP AG was only a pipeline project developer and did not have capacities for performing all TSO activities required by unbundling rules, for which reason the full assessment of compliance with the requirements of independent transmission operator (“ITO”) model was not possible. Therefore, the Secretariat, in its Opinion requested by ERE to monitor TAP AG's compliance with the commitments by COD and to conduct a certification procedure again at the latest three months before COD. In this respect, ERE is expected to open again certification procedure upon TAP AG notification of all circumstances of relevance for its full compliance with the requirements of ITO unbundling.

     

     

  • Certification of electricity TSO: Ukrenergo
    CERTIFICATIONS STEPS
    Ukrenergo Application
     14 August 2019
    NEURC Preliminary Decision
     7 October 2019
    Secretariat's Opinion
     5 February 2020
    Additional Information

    Ukrenergo is a state-owned joint stock company, and the ownership of the state is exercised by the Ministry of Finance under economic management rights.

    The Secretariat has issued a negative opinion on the NEURC’s preliminary decision for certification of Ukrenergo, concluding that Ukrenergo cannot be certified according to the ownership unbundling model, since one of the main criteria – ownership of the transmission assets by the TSO - is not fulfilled. Namely, the Ukrenergo exercises only economic management right over the transmission assets, meaning that it neither owns the transmission assets nor has other rights equivalent to an owner over those assets. Even though NEURC had to adopt a final decision within two months after the Secretariat’s opinion, such decision has not been adopted yet.

  • Certification of gas TSO: GTSO
    CERTIFICATIONS STEPS
    GTSO Application
     4 October 2019
    NEURC Preliminary Decision
     22 November 2019
    Secretariat's Opinion
     17 December 2019
    NEURC Final Decision
     24 December 2019
    Additional Information

    GTSO was established in February 2019 as a subsidiary of the joint stock company Ukrtransgaz, which is a 100% subsidiary of the vertically integrated gas undertaking Naftogaz of Ukraine. At the time of issuance of the Secretariat’s opinion, the transmission system operation was effectively conducted by Ukratransgaz. When adopting the Final Decision, NEURC took into account the Secretariat’s opinion and obliged the GTSO to provide evidence on fulfillment of the conditions by July 2020, upon which the new assessment of compliance would be conducted by the NEURC, the Secretariat and Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine. 

     

  • Certification of electricity TSO: KOSTT
    Certifications steps
    KOSTT's Application
     28 April 2017
    ERO Preliminary Decision
     24 September 2018
    ECS Certification Hearing
     6 February 2020
    ECRB Opinion
     24 January 2019
    Secretariat's Opinion
     1 February 2019
    Final Decision
     15 February 2019
    Additional Information

    KOSTT is an electricity transmission system operator, established as a joint stock company. It is in public ownership and the shareholding rights are exercised by the Assembly of Kosovo*.

    The Secretariat has supported the certification of KOSTT in line with ERO’s Preliminary Decision, recommending additionally appointment of Compliance Officer and the adoption of Compliance Program, and further requesting from ERO to assess and elaborate on the matters related to separation of control and the relations between KOSTT and the Government, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Finance. In its Final Decision, ERO has taken into account the Secretariat’s opinion and has certified KOSTT unconditionally requiring an appointment of a Compliance Officer and adoption of a Compliance Program in the period of 6 months of adoption of the Final Decision.

  • Certification of electricity TSOs: NOS BiH Sarajevo and NOS BiH Sarajevo Certification steps yet to be initiated
    Additional Information

    Two companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina are active in the electricity transmission: NOS BiH Sarajevo, acting as an independent system operator and operating competitive balancing market and JSC Elektroprenos Banja Luka (also called TransCo), acting as a transmission operator. Both companies are controlled by the entities’ governments that are also responsible for operation of the public generation and supply utilities. Elektroprenos is 100% owned by the two entities: Federation of BiH 58.90% and Republika Srpska 41.10%. The authority exercising the rights of the owners is the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, whereas for NOS BiH no shares are issued.

    There is no legal framework transposing the Third Energy Package in Bosnia and Herzegovina governing unbundling of the electricity transmission system operator(s). The draft Law on Regulator, Transmission and Electricity Market and the complementary law on the establishment of a transmission system operator for electricity, both aiming to transpose the Third Package at the state level, are prepared, but have not been adopted so far.

  • Certification of gas TSO: GAS PROMET Pale
    CERTIFICATIONS STEPS
    TSO Application
     12 September 2019
    Preliminary Decision (received 18 May 2020)
     28 April 2020
    Secretariat's Opinion
     2 October 2020
    Additional Information

    Gaspromet AD Pale is a joint stock company in the Republika Srpska. It is owned 39,14%  by the Srbijagas, 26,19 % by the Share Fund, 19,77% by the small shareholders, 10% by the Pension Fund and 5% by the Restitution Fund. Even though there is no law on state level that governs the gas market, Republika Srpska transposed the unbundling and certification requirements in line with the gas acquis on the territory of this entity in March 2019. The relevant institutional competences are assigned only to the entity regulator, completely omitting any reference to state-level institutions. RERS adopted a preliminary decision for certification of GAS PROMET Pale and submitted it for an opinion to the Secretariat.

    There are two other natural gas transmission system operators in Bosnia and Herzegovina. BH Gas d.d.o. is 100% owned by the Government of Federation BiH, which acts as a TSO at entity level but also performs activities of import and wholesale activities at the state level. Sarajevogas AD Istocno Sarajevo is a joint stock company and acts as transporter in Republika Srpska. The company performs transport, distribution system operation and retail supply in Republika Srpska.

    Those two companies are neither unbundled nor certified.

  • Certification of other gas TSOs: BH Gas d.d.o and Sarajevogas AD Istocno Certification steps yet to be initiated
    Additional Information

    There are two other natural gas transmission system operators in Bosnia and Herzegovina. BH Gas d.d.o. is 100% owned by the Government of Federation BiH, which acts as a TSO at entity level but also performs activities of import and wholesale activities at the state level. Sarajevogas AD Istocno Sarajevo is a joint stock company and acts as transporter in Republika Srpska. The company performs transport, distribution system operation and retail supply in Republika Srpska.

    Those two companies are neither unbundled nor certified.

  • Certification of electricity and gas TSOs Certification steps yet to be initiated
    Additional Information

    With the adoption of the Law on Energy and Water Supply in December 2019, Georgia transposed the Third Energy Package at national level, including the obligation for unbundling of its electricity and gas transmission system operators. While based on the Georgia’s Accession Protocol to the Energy Community Treaty, the electricity TSO was to be unbundled and certified by 31 December 2018 and the gas TSO by 31 December 2020, the national law envisages 31 December 2020 for electricity and 31 December 2021 for unbundling of the gas TSO.

  • Certification of electricity TSO: CGES
    Certifications steps
    CGES Application
     20 June 2017
    RAE Preliminary Decision
     20 October 2017
    ECS Certification Hearing
     11 July 2017
    ECRB Opinion
     1 February 2018
    Secretariat's Opinion
     27 February 2018
    RAE Final Decision
     24 April 2018
    Additional Information

    CGES is a joint stock company, owned by several shareholders: the State of Montenegro (55 %), Italian electricity TSO Terna S.p.A. (cc. 22.1%); Serbian electricity TSO, Elektromreže Srbije-EMS (10 %), custodial accounts, funds and other legal persons (5.3 %) and natural persons (7.5%).

    The transmission system operator was conditionally certified by the national regulatory authority in 2018, following the Secretariat’s positive Opinion. The conditions to appoint a compliance officer and to initiate amendments to the Energy Law or an enabling regulation to ensure the separation of control, in order to exclude the influence of the Ministry of Finance on the decisions of the Government when it comes to proposing the members of the management bodies as state capital representatives in the EPCG and Montenegro Bonus, have been fulfilled. The amendments of the Energy Law have been adopted and with that all conditions from the final decision have been complied.

Two companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina are active in the electricity transmission: NOS BiH Sarajevo, acting as an independent system operator and operating competitive balancing market and JSC Elektroprenos Banja Luka (also called TransCo), acting as a transmission operator. Both companies are controlled by the entities’ governments that are also responsible for operation of the public generation and supply utilities. Elektroprenos is 100% owned by the two entities: Federation of BiH 58.90% and Republika Srpska 41.10%. The authority exercising the rights of the owners is the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, whereas for NOS BiH no shares are issued.

 

There is no legal framework transposing the Third Energy Package in Bosnia and Herzegovina governing unbundling of the electricity transmission system operator(s). The draft Law on Regulator, Transmission and Electricity Market and the complementary law on the establishment of a transmission system operator for electricity, both aiming to transpose the Third Package at the state level, are prepared, but have not been adopted so far.

  • Certification of electricity TSO: Moldelectrica
    CERTIFICATIONS STEPS
    Moldelectrica Application
     16 October 2018
    ANRE Preliminary Decision
     5 June 2019
    ECS Certification Hearing (workshop in Chisinau)
     6 February 2020
    Secretariat's Opinion
     11 October 2019
    Additional Information

    Moldelectrica is a state enterprise and its founder is the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure, and performs the functions of the State as an owner.

    On 11 October 2019, the Secretariat has issued a negative opinion on Preliminary Decision on certification of Moldelectrica because the conditions on separation of control and ownership over transmission were not fulfilled. In particular, Moldelectrica does not own the transmission assets, which is one of the conditions for certification under the ownership unbundling model. In addition, both Moldelectrica, and the Public Property Agency (which exercises direct control over the state companies involved in generation and supply activities of electricity and gas), were directly controlled by the same public body, the Ministry of Economy. Final Decision has not yet been adopted by ANRE.

  • Certification of gas TSOs: Moldovatransgaz, and Vestmoldtransgaz Certification steps yet to be initiated
    Additional Information

    Moldovagaz is an owner of two transmission system operators Moldovatransgaz and Tiraspoltransgaz, which are supposed to be unbundled from Moldovagaz in line with the independent transmission operator (ITO) model envisaged in an unbundling plan prepared in cooperation with the Secretariat in August 2019. It is expected that Moldovagaz will submit an application for certification by 1 October 2020.

    Vestmoldtransgaz, an emerging transmission system operator, was sold to Romanian Transgaz and is not certified yet.

    The derogation for unbundling and certification of its gas TSOs expired on 1 January 2020.