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Concerning measures to safeguard the security of gas supply
ANNEX III

ANNEX III — Permanent bi-directional capacity

  1. For the execution of the provisions set out in this Annex the national regulatory authority may act as the competent authority if so decided by the Member State.
  2. To enable or enhance bi-directional capacity on an interconnection or to obtain or prolong an exemption from that obligation, transmission system operators on both sides of the interconnection shall submit to their competent authorities (competent authorities concerned) and to their regulatory authorities (regulatory authorities concerned) after consulting with all transmission system operators potentially concerned:
    1. a proposal to enable permanent physical capacity to transport gas in both directions for permanent bi-directional capacity concerning the reverse direction (physical reverse flow capacity); or
    2. a request for an exemption from the obligation to enable bi-directional capacity.

    The transmission system operators shall endeavour to submit a joint proposal or request for exemption. In the case of a proposal to enable bi-directional capacity, the transmission system operators may make a substantiated proposal for a cross-border cost allocation. Such submission shall take place no later than 1 December 2018 for all interconnections that existed on 1 November 2017, and after completing the feasibility study phase but before the start of detailed technical design phase for new interconnections.

  3. Upon receipt of the proposal or the exemption request the competent authorities concerned shall without delay consult the competent authorities and, where they are not the competent authorities, the national regulatory authorities, of the Member State that could, in accordance with the risk assessment, benefit from the reverse flow capacity, the Agency and the Commission on the proposal or the exemption request. The authorities consulted may issue an opinion within four months of receipt of the consultation request.
  4. The regulatory authorities concerned shall within six months upon receipt of the joint proposal, pursuant to Article 5(6) and (7), after consulting the project promoters concerned, take coordinated decisions on the cross-border allocation of investment costs to be borne by each transmission system operator of the project. Where the regulatory authorities concerned have not reached an agreement within that deadline, they shall inform the competent authorities concerned without delay.
  5. The competent authorities concerned shall on the basis of the risk assessment, the information listed in Article 5(5) of this Regulation, the opinions received following the consultation in accordance with point 3 of this Annex and taking into account the security of gas supply and the contribution to the internal gas market take a coordinated decision. That coordinated decision shall be taken within two months. The period of two months shall start to run after the four-month period allowed for the opinions referred to under point 3 of this Annex, unless all opinions have been received before, or after the six-month period referred to in point 4 of this Annex for regulatory authorities concerned to adopt a coordinated decision. The coordinated decision shall:
    1. accept the proposal for bi-directional capacity. Such decision shall contain a cost benefit analysis, a timeline for implementation and the arrangements for its subsequent use and be accompanied by the coordinated decision on the cross-border cost allocation referred to in point 4 and prepared by the regulatory authorities concerned;
    2. grant or prolong a temporary exemption for a maximum period of four years, if the cost-benefit analysis included in the decision shows that the reverse flow capacity would not enhance the security of gas supply of any relevant Member State or if the investment costs would significantly outweigh the prospective benefits for the security of gas supply; or
    3. require the transmission system operators to amend and resubmit their proposal or exemption request within a maximum period of four months.
  6. The competent authorities concerned shall submit the coordinated decision without delay to the competent authorities and national regulatory authorities who have submitted an opinion in accordance with point 3, the regulatory authorities concerned, the Agency and the Commission including the opinions received following the consultation in accordance with point 3.
  7. Within two months of receipt of the coordinated decision, the competent authorities referred to in point 6 may present their objections to the coordinated decision and submit them to the competent authorities concerned that adopted it, the Agency and the Commission. The objections shall be limited to facts and assessment, in particular cross-border cost allocation that was not subject of consultation in accordance with point 3.
  8. Within three months of receipt of the coordinated decision in accordance with point 6, the Agency shall issue an opinion on the elements of the coordinated decision taking into account any possible objection and submit the opinion to all competent authorities concerned and the competent authorities referred to in point 6 and to the Commission.
  9. Within four months of receipt of the opinion issued by the Agency pursuant to point 8 the Commission may adopt a decision requesting modifications of the coordinated decision. Any such decision of the Commission shall be taken on the basis of: the criteria set out in point 5, the reasons for the decision of the authorities concerned and the opinion of the Agency. The competent authorities concerned shall comply with the request of the Commission by amending their decision within a period of four weeks.

    In the event that the Commission does not act within the aforementioned four months period, it shall be considered not to have raised objections to the decision of the competent authorities concerned.

  10. If the competent authorities concerned were not able to adopt a coordinated decision within the deadline set out in point 5 or if the regulatory authorities concerned could not reach an agreement on the cost allocation within the deadline set out in point 4, the competent authorities concerned shall inform the Agency and the Commission at the latest on the day of the expiry of the deadline. Within four months of receipt of that information, the Commission, after possible consultation with the Agency, shall adopt a decision covering all elements of a coordinated decision listed in point 5 with the exception of a cross-border cost allocation and submit that decision to the competent authorities concerned and the Agency.
  11. If the Commission decision pursuant to point 10 of this Annex, requires bi-directional capacity, the Agency shall adopt a decision covering the cross-border cost allocation in line with Article 5(7) of this Regulation within three months of receipt of the Commission decision. Before taking such a decision, the Agency shall consult the regulatory authorities concerned and the transmission system operators. The three-month period may be extended by an additional period of two months where the Agency has to request additional information. The additional period shall begin on the day following receipt of the complete information.
  12. The Commission, the Agency, the competent authorities, the national regulatory authorities and the transmission system operators shall preserve the confidentiality of commercially sensitive information.
  13. Exemptions from the obligation to enable bi-directional capacity granted under Regulation (EU) No 994/2010 shall remain valid unless the Commission or the other concerned Member State requests a revision or their duration expires.