RSM Australia

Safeguard Mechanism - Baseline Application Key Dates

In early March 2019, amendments were made to the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Safeguard Mechanism) Rule 2015  which had the effect of:

  • Extending the 2018-19 baseline application deadline from 31 October 2019 to 15 April 2020 for facilities with a declared multi-year period which covers the 2018-19 and 2019-20 compliance period;asset_5.png
  • Expiring reported baselines on 30 June 2020;
  • Allowing facilities to use transitional calculated baseline criteria (so that all facilities have access to a calculated baseline); and
  • Allowing facilities the option to use prescribed production variables and default emissions intensity values.

With the expiration date of calculated baselines which commenced 1 July 2016 having now passed (on the 30 June 2019), and the 30 June 2020 expiration date of reported baselines now approaching, applications for new baselines are required to be submitted.

Application deadlines will differ depending on which type of baseline you are intending to apply for and on which type of baseline you have previously used. To determine which application deadline applies to you, we have set out the different timelines and application deadlines below.


Are you currently using a calculated baseline which covered the period 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2019?

If you have an existing calculated baseline which commenced 1 July 2016, then this baseline would have expired on 30 June 2019, and you have two options when applying for a new baseline.

The two options are to:

  1.      Apply for another calculated baseline (based on forecast production); or
  2.      Apply for a production adjusted baseline (based on actual production).

The option chosen will be based on which method of calculation used (i.e. using forecast production or actual production) and the application deadlines for each option are as follows:

Option 1: Depending on the year of the highest forecast production level of primary production variable, a calculated baseline application must be submitted prior to the following dates, for a calculated baseline period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2022.

Option 2: Applications are due prior to 31 October 2020 (this provides a sixteen-month window after 30 June 2019).

Note: the above options do not factor in facilities that have declared multi-year monitoring periods that cover 2018-19 and 2019-20.


Are you currently using a reported baseline?

If you are currently using a reported baseline, then this baseline will expire on 30 June 2020.

When applying for a new baseline you will have the same two options as noted above for those already using a calculated baseline either to:

  1.      Apply for another calculated baseline (based on forecast production); or
  2.      Apply for a production adjusted baseline (based on actual production).

However, the application deadlines will be pushed back by 1 year so they will be as follows:

Option 1: Depending on the year of the highest forecast production level of primary production variable, a calculated baseline application must be submitted prior to the following dates, for a calculated baseline period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2023.

Option 2:  Applications are due prior to 31 October 2021 (this provides a sixteen-month window after 30 June 2020)

Note: the above options do not factor in facilities that have declared multi-year monitoring periods that cover 2018-19 and 2019-20.


Applications for both calculated and production-adjusted baselines are also required to be accompanied by an audit report under sections 28 and 42, respectively, of the Safeguard Mechanism Rule.

Our team of Registered Greenhouse and Energy Auditors are able to conduct audits to accompany an application for both calculated and production adjusted baselines. Our experience in conducting audits in relation to applications for baselines as required under the Safeguard Rule means that we are well placed to assist you when applying for your new baseline.

If your current baseline has expired or is reaching expiry in June next year, and you are intending to apply for a new calculated or production-adjusted baseline, then please contact us to discuss the options discussed above, the audit requirements for applications and or our services in this area.