Add or remove a carbon accounting areas (CAA)
Carbon accounting areas (CAAs) are the basic area used to track carbon stock changes in post-1989 forests registered in the ETS. You earn and pay New Zealand Units (NZUs) based on changes in the carbon stock of each CAA.
- You can add or remove CAAs from your registration at any time.
- You cannot add more land to an existing CAA. To add forest land, you'll need to create a new CAA.
- You must remove CAAs that are no longer eligible to be part of the ETS (for example, after deforestation).
Fees and charges apply.
If your land is subject to the Field Measurement Approach, you must meet specific requirements when adding or removing land from your ETS registration. For example, you may need to reapply for sample plots, or get an updated set of specific carbon tables. For more information, see section 5 of the Field Measurement Approach (FMA) guide.
FMA guide [PDF, 2 MB]
Make changes online
You can add or remove a CAA using MPI's ETS online system. Before you can use the system, you will need to:
- be registered with the government online identification service RealMe
- set up a login and password.
If you don't have a RealMe account, you'll be given the chance to set one up when you try to log in.
Adding or removing CAAs
Follow these steps to add or remove CAAs from the ETS.
1. Complete the relevant application form
Information you must provide includes:
- participant name and New Zealand Emission Trading Register holding account number
- the CAA number(s) for land being added, altered, or removed
- details of any land being added – this includes land title, description, and ownership information
- evidence of when the forest land was established (when adding a new CAA)
- an electronic map file – in the form of a shapefile – if you're adding a CAA or removing part of a CAA.
Remove a CAA [PDF, 320 KB]
Remove land from a CAA [PDF, 304 KB]
Add a CAA [PDF, 413 KB]
Uploading or sending large files
To send us files larger than 10MB, email ETSsharefilelink@mpi.govt.nz and tell us you want to send us files. We will send you a link to a secure file upload system. We will email you when we receive your file.
2. Submit an emissions return if removing land
If you are removing land from the ETS, you must submit a mandatory emissions return (unit surrender) within 20 working days of removing land. Download the form, or use MPI's online ETS system to file.
Download the Emissions return (unit reconciliation) [PDF, 768 KB]
Your obligations when deforesting post-1989 forest land
If you're deforesting post-1989 forest land registered in the ETS, you must:
- tell MPI by completing the relevant forms
- pay any units owed
- remove the deforested area from the ETS.
If you want to deregister from the ETS, or if all your land no longer qualifies to be part of the scheme (for example, if it has been deforested) you will need to complete a participant deregistration form.
Download the post-1989 forest deregistration form [PDF, 278 KB]
You need to file an emissions return within 20 working days of deregistration, and repay the balance of NZUs that have been allocated to the registered post-1989 forest land. Fees apply.
Download the emissions return (unit reconciliation) [PDF, 768 KB]
Penalties and offences
You may face a penalty, fine, or conviction if you:
- don't file a mandatory emission return by the due date
- have calculated emissions or removals incorrectly in your emissions return
- are late paying units that you owe.
From 2023 onwards, you may receive an infringement notice and be charged a fee if you don’t:
- file an emission return by the due date
- keep accurate records of carbon calculations, and provide a copy to an enforcement officer, if requested
- keep us informed if circumstances change relating to an emissions ruling.
Find out more
Who to contact
If you have questions about changes your ETS registration or transferring land:
- email email@example.com
- call 0800 CLIMATE (0800 25 46 28) and select option 2.