How is the EU CBAM calculated?

Explore CarbonChain's tools to help importers and installations get their EU CBAM and UK CBAM calculations right for reporting and prepare for the costs of the 2026 certificates.

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How much will the CBAM carbon tariff cost you?

CBAM Estimator

See how the CBAM mechanism could affect your imports...

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The above figures are based on average emissions data for steel and aluminum. Need more accurate cost estimates of CBAM certificates for your specific product imports?
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About these calculations

The figures provided by the interactive CarbonChain CBAM Certificate Estimator (BETA) are estimated potential certificate prices. These are based on tonnage traded, emissions factors in the CarbonChain database and the difference between the EU ETS and the carbon pricing scheme in that non-EU country*.

  • Estimates are based on best-available data, including an independent database of emissions factors maintained by CarbonChain.
  • The cost of a CBAM certificate from 2026 will be tied to the EU ETS market price, averaged on a weekly basis. Currently the EU ETS price is around 85 EUR (per tonne of CO2e) with an expected range of 100-150 EUR by 2030. The CarbonChain CBAM Certificate Estimator uses an EU ETS price from end of November 2022 (83.5 EUR).
  • The tool is based on 100% of emissions being priced, once the EU ETS free allowances are phased out.

This tool only includes direct emissions, in line with the official CBAM regulation (16 May 2023). Previously, it included direct and indirect emissions in line with the CBAM regulation.

*If a country has its own carbon pricing scheme equivalent to the EU ETS, the cost of the CBAM certificate will be the EU ETS price minus the non-EU scheme price. The European Commission has not yet released details of which countries’ carbon pricing schemes will be considered equivalent. The CarbonChain CBAM Certificate Estimator uses best-available data and assumptions to factor in this calculation (including carbon pricing schemes set to be implemented by 2026).

How to calculate emissions for CBAM reporting

Installations should calculate their emissions according to the methodology approved by the EU and report them to importers.

There are three overarching steps:

  1. Draw a system boundary around your production process to determine what is included and excluded from your calculations
  2. Gather annual consumption values, and link them to emissions (direct and indirect if applicable)
  3. Divide total emissions by total production to get your direct and indirect emission factors

EU CBAM calculation example; a detailed step by step example of calculating steel slab emissions
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Get a step-by-step example of calculating CBAM emissions (for aluminum ingot and steel slab), with diagrams.
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How to prepare for the CBAM certificate price

When the EU CBAM's carbon levy comes into effect in 2026, importers will need to purchase CBAM certificates (one per tonne of reported emissions). The certificate price will be tied to the EU ETS carbon price.

To avoid fines for non-reporting and to reduce the potential cost of certificates, importers should:

Prepare for accurate CBAM reporting based on their specific suppliers and assets.

Find opportunities to reduce emissions (and reduce the cost of certificates) ahead of time. CarbonChain can help you with supplier engagement and identifying alternative low-carbon suppliers.

Request a CBAM call with CarbonChain

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Take control of your net-zero transition with CarbonChain

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