Post-1989 forest land registered as standard forestry
Post-1989 forest land is a kind of land in the ETS. This kind of forest land can be registered in the ETS as standard forestry or permanent forestry. Standard forestry is intended for forests that you want to regularly harvest and replant, such as commercial plantation forests.
To register your land as standard forestry, it must meet the eligibility criteria for post-1989 forest land.
Before 1 January 2023, the ETS didn’t distinguish between standard and permanent forestry. Post-1989 forest land that entered the ETS before 1 January 2023 is now considered standard forestry, unless you apply to change it to permanent forestry.
Accounting for carbon and earning units
If you have post-1989 forest land in the ETS, you must account for changes in the amount of carbon in the forest land. The method you use to account for these changes depends on:
- whether the land is in standard or permanent forestry, and
- when it entered the ETS.
All post-1989 forest land that enters the ETS as standard forestry after 1 January 2023 must use averaging accounting. With averaging accounting, you earn New Zealand Units (NZUs or units) based on the long-term average carbon stock of the forest land. This means you will only earn units for forest land on its first rotation. You also do not need to pay units for clearing, as long as you replant the forest within a specific period of time.
Most of the post-1989 forest land in standard forestry that entered the ETS before 1 January 2023 continues to use stock change accounting. Some land registered before 1 January 2023 was able to be moved to averaging accounting if the party responsible for the land requested it.
Clearing forest land in standard forestry
There are no restrictions on clearing forest land in standard forestry. You may clear and replant as much of the forest land as regularly as you want. In comparison, you may need to pay a penalty if you clear land in permanent forestry.
Depending on the carbon accounting method you’re using, you may need to pay (surrender) units for clearing the forest land.
If you deforest land in standard forestry you must remove it from the ETS and pay units. This is the case for both standard and permanent forestry. Deforestation has a specific meaning in the ETS. Find out more below.
Removing land in standard forestry from the ETS
You may choose to remove land in standard forestry from the ETS at any time. You must remove land from the ETS if it is deforested. If you remove land, you must pay units for the area that is removed.
If you want to remove all of your post-1989 forest land from the ETS, you can apply to deregister from the ETS. However, if you have any land in permanent forestry you may only remove it from the ETS in specific circumstances, such as at the end of the 50 year registration period.
Moving land from standard forestry to permanent forestry
You can apply to move post-1989 forest land from standard forestry to permanent forestry. Complete the form below to apply to move land to permanent forestry.
If you move land from standard forestry to permanent forestry, you must complete an emissions return.