Article 11 — Declaration of a crisis
- There shall be the following three crisis levels:
- early warning level (early warning): where there is concrete, serious and reliable information that an event which is likely to result in significant deterioration of the gas supply situation may occur and is likely to lead to the alert or the emergency level being triggered; the early warning level may be activated by an early warning mechanism;
- alert level (alert): where a disruption of gas supply or exceptionally high gas demand which results in significant deterioration of the gas supply situation occurs but the market is still able to manage that disruption or demand without the need to resort to non-market-based measures;
- emergency level (emergency): where there is exceptionally high gas demand, significant disruption of gas supply or other significant deterioration of the gas supply situation and all relevant market-based measures have been implemented but the gas supply is insufficient to meet the remaining gas demand so that non-market-based measures have to be additionally introduced with a view, in particular, to safeguarding gas supplies to protected customers in accordance with Article 6.
- When the competent authority declares one of the crisis levels referred to in paragraph 1, it shall immediately inform the Commission as well as the competent authorities of the Member States with which the Member State of that competent authority is directly connected and provide them with all the necessary information, in particular with information on the action it intends to take. In the event of an emergency which may result in a call for assistance from the Union and its Member States, the competent authority of the Member State concerned shall without delay notify the Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC).
- Where a Member State has declared an emergency and has indicated that cross-border action is required, any increased gas supply standard or additional obligation under Article 6(2) imposed on natural gas undertakings in other Member States in the same risk group shall be temporarily reduced to the level established in Article 6(1).
The obligations laid down in the first subparagraph of this paragraph shall cease to apply immediately after the competent authority declares an end to an emergency, or the Commission concludes, in accordance with the first subparagraph of paragraph 8, that the declaration of an emergency is not or is no longer justified.
- When the competent authority declares an emergency it shall follow the pre-defined action as set out in its emergency plan and shall immediately inform the Commission and the competent authorities in the risk group as well as the competent authorities of the Member States with which the Member State of that competent authority is directly connected in particular of the action it intends to take. In duly justified exceptional circumstances, the competent authority may take action deviating from the emergency plan. The competent authority shall immediately inform the Commission and the competent authorities in its risk group as set out in Annex I, as well as the competent authorities of the Member States with which the Member State of that competent authority is directly connected, of any such action and shall provide a justification for the deviation.
- The transmission system operator shall ensure that when an emergency is declared in a neighbouring Member State, capacity at interconnection points to that Member State, irrespective of whether firm or interruptible, and whether it has been booked before or during the emergency, has priority over competing capacity at exit points into storage facilities. The system user of the prioritised capacity shall promptly pay fair compensation to the system user of the firm capacity for the financial loss incurred as a result of prioritisation including a proportionate reimbursement for the cost of the firm capacity being interrupted. The process of determining and paying the compensation shall not affect the implementation of the priority rule.
- The Member States and, in particular, the competent authorities shall ensure that:
- no measures are introduced which unduly restrict the flow of gas within the internal market at any time;
- no measures are introduced that are likely seriously to endanger the gas supply situation in another Member State; and
- cross-border access to infrastructure in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 715/2009 is maintained as far as technically and safely possible, in accordance with the emergency plan.
- During an emergency and on reasonable grounds, upon a request of the relevant electricity or gas transmission system operator a Member State may decide to prioritise the gas supply to certain critical gas-fired power plants over the gas supply to certain categories of protected customers, if the lack of gas supply to such critical gas-fired power plants either:
- could result in severe damage in the functioning of the electricity system; or
- would hamper the production and/or transportation of gas.
Member States shall base any such measure on the risk assessment.
Critical gas-fired power plants as referred to in the first subparagraph shall be clearly identified together with the possible gas volumes that would be subject to such a measure and included in the regional chapters of the preventive action plans and emergency plans. Their identification shall be carried out in close cooperation with transmission system operators of the electricity system and the gas system of the Member State concerned.
- The Commission shall verify, as soon as possible, but in any case within five days of receiving the information referred to in paragraph 2 from the competent authority, whether the declaration of an emergency is justified in accordance with point (c) of paragraph 1 and whether the measures taken follow as closely as possible the actions listed in the emergency plan and are not imposing an undue burden on natural gas undertakings and are in accordance with paragraph 6. The Commission may, at the request of another competent authority, natural gas undertakings or on its own initiative, request the competent authority to modify the measures where they are contrary to the conditions referred to in the first sentence of this paragraph. The Commission may also request the competent authority to declare an end to the emergency where it concludes that the declaration of an emergency is not or is no longer justified in accordance with point (c) of paragraph 1.
Within three days of notification of the Commission request, the competent authority shall modify the measures and shall notify the Commission thereof, or shall inform the Commission of the reasons for which it disagrees with the request. In the latter case, the Commission may, within three days of being informed, amend or withdraw its request or, in order to consider the issue, convene the competent authority or, where appropriate, the competent authorities concerned, and, where the Commission considers it to be necessary, the GCG. The Commission shall set out its detailed reasons for requesting any modification to the action. The competent authority shall take full account of the position of the Commission. Where the final decision of the competent authority diverges from the Commission position, the competent authority shall provide the reasons underlying such decision.
- When the competent authority declares an end to one of the crisis levels referred to in paragraph 1, it shall inform the Commission as well as the competent authorities of the Member States with which the Member State of that competent authority is directly connected.