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Concerning measures to safeguard the security of gas supply
Article 6a

Article 6a — Filling targets and filling trajectories

  1. Subject to paragraphs 2 to 5, Member States shall meet the following filling targets for the aggregated capacity of all underground gas storage facilities that are located on their territory and directly interconnected to a market area in their territory and for storage facilities listed in Annex Ib by 1 November each year:
    1. for 2022: 80 %;
    2. from 2023: 90 %.

    For the purpose of complying with this paragraph, Member States shall take into account the objective of safeguarding the security of gas supply in the Union in accordance with Article 1.

  2. Notwithstanding paragraph 1 and without prejudice to the obligations of other Member States to fill the underground gas storage facilities concerned, the filling target for each Member State in which the underground gas storage facilities are located shall be reduced to a volume corresponding to 35 % of the average annual gas consumption over the preceding five years for that Member State.
  3. Notwithstanding paragraph 1 and without prejudice to the obligations of other Member States to fill the underground gas storage facilities concerned, the filling target for each Member State in which the underground gas storage facilities are located shall be reduced by the volume which was supplied to third countries during the reference period 2016 to 2021 if the average volume supplied was more than 15 TWh per year during the gas storage withdrawal period (October – April).
  4. For the underground gas storage facilities listed in Annex Ib, the filling targets pursuant to paragraph 1 and the filling trajectories pursuant to paragraph 7 shall apply. The details of the obligations of each Member State will be determined in a bilateral agreement in accordance with Annex Ib.
  5. A Member State may partially meet the filling target by counting the LNG physically stored and available in its LNG facilities if both of the following conditions are met:
    1. the gas system includes significant capacity of LNG storage, accounting annually for more than 4 % of the average national consumption over the preceding five years;
    2. the Member State has imposed an obligation on gas suppliers to store minimum volumes of gas in underground gas storage facilities and/or LNG facilities in accordance with Article 6b(1), point (a).
  6. Member States shall take the necessary measures to meet the intermediate targets or to ensure that they are met as follows:
    1. for 2022: as set out in Annex Ia; and
    2. from 2023: in accordance with paragraph 7.
  7. For 2023 and the following years, each Member State with underground gas storage facilities shall submit to the Commission, by 15 September of the previous year, a draft filling trajectory with intermediary targets for February, May, July and September, including technical information, for the underground gas storage facilities on its territory and directly interconnected to its market area in an aggregated form. The filling trajectory and the intermediate targets shall be based on the average filling rate during the preceding five years.

    For Member States for which the filling target is reduced to 35 % of their average annual gas consumption pursuant to paragraph 2, the intermediate targets of the filling trajectory shall be reduced accordingly.

    Based on the technical information provided by each Member State and taking into account the assessment of the GCG, the Commission shall adopt implementing acts setting the filling trajectory for each Member State. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 18a(2). They shall be adopted by 15 November of the preceding year, where necessary and including where a Member State has submitted an updated draft filling trajectory. They shall be based on an assessment of the general security of gas supply situation and the development of gas demand and supply in the Union and individual Member States, and set in a manner that safeguards the security of gas supply, while avoiding unnecessary burdens on Member States, gas market participants, storage system operators or customers and not unduly distorting competition between storage facilities located in neighbouring Member States.

  8. Where, in any given year, a Member State is not able to meet its filling target by 1 November due to the specific technical characteristics of one or more underground gas storage facilities within its territory, such as exceptionally low injection rates, it shall be allowed to meet it by 1 December. The Member State shall inform the Commission by 1 November, providing reasons for the delay.
  9. The filling target shall not apply where and for as long as the Commission has declared a regional or Union emergency pursuant to Article 12 at the request, as the case may be, of one or more Member States that have declared a national emergency.
  10. The competent authority of each Member State shall continuously monitor compliance with the filling trajectory and shall report regularly to the GCG. If the filling level of a given Member State is more than five percentage points below the level of the filling trajectory, the competent authority shall, without delay, take effective measures to increase it. Member States shall inform the Commission and the GCG of the measures taken.
  11. In the event of a substantial and sustained deviation by a Member State from the filling trajectory, which compromises the meeting of the filling target or in the event of a deviation from the filling target, the Commission shall, after consulting the GCG and the Member States concerned, issue a recommendation to that Member State or to the other Member States concerned regarding measures to be taken immediately.

    Where the deviation is not significantly reduced within one month of receipt of the Commission’s recommendation, the Commission shall, after consulting the GCG and the Member State concerned, take a decision as a measure of last resort to require the Member State concerned to take measures that effectively remedy the deviation, including, where appropriate, one or more of the measures provided for in Article 6b(1), or any other measure to ensure that the filling target pursuant to this Article is met.

    In deciding which measures to take pursuant to the second subparagraph, the Commission shall take into account the specific situation of the Member States concerned, such as the size of the underground gas storage facilities in relation to the domestic gas consumption, the importance of the underground gas storage facilities for the security of gas supply in the region and any existing LNG storage facilities.

    Any measures taken by the Commission to address deviations from the filling trajectory or the filling target for 2022 shall take into account the short timeframe for the implementation of this Article at national level, which may have contributed to the deviation from the filling trajectory or the filling target for 2022.

    The Commission shall ensure that the measures taken pursuant to this paragraph do not:

    1. go beyond what is necessary to safeguard the security of gas supply;
    2. place a disproportionate burden on Member States, gas market participants, storage system operators or customers.