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Penalties and Selected Legal Issues

Cover page of a working paper titled "Implementing the EU Methane Regulation: Penalties and selected legal issues," by Raffaele Piria, Stephan Sina, and Lina-Marie Dück, published by Ecologic Institute in June 2024.

© Ecologic Institute 2024


Penalties and Selected Legal Issues

Implementing the EU Methane Regulation Working Paper N° 3


Piria, Raffaele, Stephan Sina and Lina-Marie Dück 2024: Implementing the EU Methane Regulation, Working paper N° 3. Penalties and selected legal issues. Ecologic Institute, Berlin. Available at:

This publication discusses the penalty regime to be established by the EU Member States to sanction infringements against the recently adopted EU Methane Regulation (EU-MER). In these regimes, (administrative) fines will play a major role. The EU-MER stipulates that the level of fines must be proportionate to the environmental damage and impact on human health associated with the infringement as the core criterion. The working paper proposes applying a core reference value of 6.000 EUR/tCH4 to be adjusted according to the aggravating or mitigating factors foreseen by the regulation.

The paper also discusses selected legal issues related to EU-MER implementation at the national level: The legal powers the competent authorities need to effectively fulfil their tasks; how to operationalise the "reasonable efforts", which importers must undertake to comply with their obligations concerning ongoing supply contracts; and the extent to which the competent authorities may delegate inspection activities to private entities.

There are two other papers in this series focusing on EU-MER implementation at the national level:


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The authors thank the following people for their support, intellectual contribution and inspiration: Julian Schwartzkopff and Tabea Pottiez (Deutsche Umwelthilfe), Joana Simão Costa and Malcolm McDowell (European Commission), Andrea Trenta, Diego Gavagnin and Tommaso Franci (Amici della terra), Michaela Holl (Agora Energiewende), Edward Calthrope (European Investment Bank), Christian Böttcher (German Federal Environment Agency), Corina Andreea Murafa (Faculty of Business Administration, Bucharest University of Economic Studies), Aart Tacoma (Element nl), Maarten de Vries (CE Delft).
We also thank our colleagues Aaron Best, Agnés Reinsberg, Aleksandra Lempp, Anna Mansilla Urban, Arne Riedel, Benjamin Görlach, Eike Karola Velten, Ewa Iwaszuk, Flora Dicke, Jennifer Rahn, Leon Martini, Meike Lorenz, Paula Schöberlein, Ralf Bodle, Ramiro de la Vega, Susanne Langsdorf for their contributions and help.

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38 pp.
Project ID
Table of contents
methane, methane emissions, CH4 emissions, hydrogen, greenhouse gas, EU policies, emissions, venting and flaring, leak detection and repair, climate mitigation, EU Methane Emission Regulation, EU Methane Regulation, LDAR, MRV
analysis, qualitative and quantitative criteria