After your application to offset post-1989 forest land is approved
Once we approve your application to establish offsetting land, you have some responsibilities to carry out. “Offsetting” is when another forest is planted elsewhere to absorb the amount of carbon from an area of land being removed from the ETS. When this happens, the land is removed from the ETS without you needing to pay New Zealand Units (NZUs or units).
These responsibilities include:
- planting the offsetting land to meet the requirements
- updating us about the status of this land.
This requires calculations that may be complicated, and digital maps of the land. You may wish to hire a consultant or appoint a representative to help you.
Once your application is approved, your post-1989 forest land is removed from the ETS. You may deforest it without paying units.
Establishing forest on the offsetting land
You must ensure the offsetting land meets the requirements to be considered “qualifying forest land” in the ETS.
This is similar to the legal definition of forest land in the ETS, with some extra requirements specific to offsetting.
To be qualifying forest land, the land must:
- have forest species on each hectare that have crown cover of more than 30%, or be likely to in the future
- have forest established by planting, rather than by regeneration, and
- be made up of areas of at least 1 hectare each, with an average width of at least 30 metres.
Updating us about the status of your offsetting land
You must update us about the progress of the offsetting forest 4 years after:
- the date you submitted your application, or
- when you started clearing, if you started it before you applied.
This 4-year mark is called the “offset date”.
Once you reach the offset date, you must submit a notice that tells us which areas of your offsetting land meet the requirements and which areas don’t.
This notice is known legally as a “P89 release criteria notice”.
Use the form below to complete this notice. You must submit it within 60 working days of the offset date.
In the notice, you must provide information about the land, including:
- the areas of offsetting land that you have successfully established as qualifying forest land
- any areas of offsetting land that do not meet these requirements
- any areas that meet the requirements but are not needed as offsetting land (for example, if you planted more than necessary).
You must also:
- calculate how much carbon the offsetting land that you’ve successfully forested is expected to store
- complete an emissions return for all the land that was approved as offsetting land.
All parties responsible for the offsetting land must sign the notice.
Adjusting the offsetting requirements for damage to your land
If any of your offsetting land doesn’t meet the requirements because the trees are damaged, you may reduce the requirements so that you don't need to plant additional land.