Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

We herewith inform you about updates and clarifications in the ISCC System. Please share this information with all relevant members of staff.

1. Announcement of the ISCC HUB Going Live

As briefly mentioned in previous ISCC communications, it is with great pleasure that we announce the planned Go Live of the ISCC HUB in early December. This is part of our continuous endeavour to increase user-friendliness and improve and speed-up processes. The Go Live is planned for calendar week 49, 4-8 December 2023.
The ISCC HUB is an online platform for managing the registration- and certification-related data of System Users (= Economic Operators in European Union terminology). Both, System Users and their Certification Bodies (CBs), will have direct access to manage and change System User data in the ISCC HUB that is accessible via single sign-on in the ISCC client section / ISCC CB section. The future integration of the ISCC HUB with the European Commission’s Union Database as well as with ISCC’s Transactional Database will create a one-stop shop solution for System Users. ISCC will inform about this in future updates before this becomes effective.
As part of the preparation for the ISCC HUB implementation, this System Update introduces the key features and functionalities of the ISCC HUB and highlights the related responsibilities of both, System Users and CBs, in the context of the ISCC HUB Go Live. 
We are convinced that the ISCC HUB will make life easier for all parties involved. However, if System Users do not agree with the necessary changes brought about by the implementation of the ISCC HUB they may at any time exercise their right to terminate the System Usage Agreement without notice. Such termination has to be made by 24 November 2023 at the latest if System Users do not want their data migrated to the ISCC HUB.

1.1   New Processes

With the ISCC HUB registrations (new System Users, new sites) will be made directly in the ISCC HUB and existing System Users will be able to update their registration data in the ISCC HUB. 

CBs will enter certificates immediately after issuance in the ISCC HUB for publication on the ISCC website and they may change issued certificates or their status in the ISCC HUB with immediate publication on the ISCC website. 

Through various forms of verification and validation measures, the ISCC HUB is designed to help avoid input errors and missing data, while improving data accuracy to minimise the need for subsequent clarification by involved parties. The system sends automatic notifications to relevant parties when data is updated or changed, providing information or requesting confirmation. 

The ISCC HUB also provides a task list that indicates open process steps that need to be completed, e.g., next steps for Applicants and CBs during registration.

1.1.1        Registrations 

Registering in the ISCC HUB enables System Users and CBs to save drafts and intermediate statuses, which facilitates the registration process. Once the Applicant has sent the registration, it will be immediately forwarded to the Applicant’s CB who can either approve, reject, or change it, thus accelerating the registration process considerably. In case of a change in the registration data by the CB, an additional approval of the changes by the Applicant is required before the registration is forwarded to ISCC for a final check. These steps are controlled by tasks for affected parties being triggered in the system and ensure a common data basis for the parties involved, thus decreasing the likelihood of misunderstandings and the need of time-consuming clarifications. 
Please note that, as in the past, the contract between ISCC and the Applicant is only concluded with the registration confirmation including the registration number sent by ISCC by e-mail.
To allow for the System User data migration into the ISCC HUB, the current registration form will be taken off the ISCC website on 28 November 2023. CBs and Applicants are advised to ensure that necessary registrations and registration adjustments will be made before 28 November 2023. Registrations will only be possible again in the ISCC HUB after the official Go Live.
The full future registration process is shown in the following process flow.

1.1.2        Updating Registration Data

The ISCC HUB enables the System User to directly edit and update the data provided at registration or updated subsequently. This includes basic data as well as any other information that was submitted during registration (e.g., the scope of certification).  
Please note: ISCC will allow direct access to the ISCC HUB to all legal representatives and first or second contact persons named by the System User either at registration or in later updates. So, all these persons may change all registration data of the System User in the ISCC HUB. If System Users want to restrict the access of certain individuals to the ISCC HUB not only by internal instructions but also vis-à-vis ISCC, they must notify ISCC in writing (e-mail to of the deletion of these persons from the list of representatives or contact persons. Please note that there must always be a contact person who is permanently to be contacted by ISCC.  
The CB can also make changes to the registration data of its System Users in the ISCC HUB. Any such changes to the registration data by the CB require direct confirmation from the System User in the ISCC HUB before taking effect. 

1.1.3        Submitting and Changing Certificates and Related Data

Certificates issued by the CB shall be entered into the ISCC HUB on the day of issuance. The prior updating and confirmation of the registration data of the System User in the ISCC HUB is a precondition for this. 
Entered certificates will be immediately shown in the certificate tables on the ISCC website. The same applies for the pdf-representations of certificates and the Summary Audit Reports published on the ISCC website. This real-time synchronization will allow interested parties to immediately verify the validity of certificates of System Users. ISCC reserves the right to hide certificate data, certificate pdfs or Summary Audit Report pdfs from the ISCC certificate table on the ISCC website in case of missing or unclear information in the audit documentation or unpaid invoices.
Please, note, that for the time being CBs must inform ISCC by e-mail without delay about failed audits. The submission of documentation for failed audits will only be integrated into the ISCC HUB at a later point in time.
The CB will be obliged to update changes to existing certificates or their status without delay in the respective certificate section in the ISCC HUB. These changes will appear immediately on the ISCC website. 
As part of the certification documentation, documentation on the Surveillance Audits conducted by the CB shall also be submitted to ISCC via the certificate section in the ISCC HUB. 

1.2   Implications and Next Steps for System Users 

Who can see and do what?
The System Users’ legal representatives as well as all named (first and second) ISCC contact persons will have full access to the ISCC HUB and be able to change the System User’s registration data in the ISCC HUB. Upon the initial login the System User’s existing data will be readily available to all these persons. 
Further, legal representatives and all contact persons can assign additional persons to the registration and by that allow them to access the ISCC client section and see (but not edit) the registration data in the ISCC HUB. If a person is assigned as legal representative or contact person to multiple registrations, all registrations and associated certificates are visible to that person once logged in. If a System User has multiple registered sites, only the indicated legal representatives and contact persons for the registration for this site will see the respective registration data.
Also, ISCC will provide the CB of the System User direct access to the registration data and certificates and certificate-related information of the System User with the right to edit this data. System Users will be automatically informed of such changes. Changes to the registration will only become effective after confirmation of the System User. Changes to certificates will become effective once submitted by the CB. System Users will be prompted by the system to immediately check these changes.
Obligation to Update Information
Once the ISCC HUB is live, System Users have to fulfil their contractual obligation to immediately update their registration data by updating these data in the ISCC HUB. The same goes for the obligation to immediately update any change of the Sourcing Contact information (farm/plantations, points of origin) that is part of a certificate.
Next Steps for System Users 
System Users must ensure that, by 28 November 2023, only those persons remain designated as contact persons for ISCC to whom the System User wishes to grant access to the ISCC HUB and the described ability to modify System User data in the ISCC HUB.

1.3   Implications and Next Steps for CBs

Who can see and do what?
All named ISCC contact persons of the CB will be able to see upon the initial login all ISCC registrations and ISCC certificates of the CB and perform tasks as will be described in the following section Affected Processes and Obligations. This also applies to all additional persons that will be added by the ISCC contact person in the ISCC HUB.
Please note that at this point the ISCC HUB access shall not be given to auditors. The access is to be limited to the CB staff who is responsible for submitting the certification documentation to ISCC.
Affected Processes and Obligations
Once the ISCC HUB is live, the CB will be obliged to implement the System User registration process as is described in section 1.1.1 of this System Update.
If the CB becomes aware of changes in the registration data of a System User (during audits or outside of audits), the CB shall initiate an update of the respective information in the ISCC HUB without delay if not already done by the System User.
Regarding submission of and changes to certificates CBs shall be obliged to proceed as is explained in section 1.1.3 of this System Update.
The CB takes full responsibility and ensures that the information that is uploaded in the ISCC HUB and published on the ISCC website according to the System Standards, including but not limited to System User basic data, certificates, audit reports or information on the status of certificates, is accurate and complete and can be automatically published upon submission by the CB on the ISCC website without further verification by ISCC. 
Next steps for CBs
While CBs may keep issuing certificates, as of 24 November 2023 ISCC certificates and their associated audit documentation may no longer be submitted via e-mail to ISCC for publishing. Certificates issued between 24. November 2023 and the Go Live of the ISCC HUB are, of course, valid as of the date of issuance but will have to be entered into the ISCC HUB for publication on the ISCC Website as part of the onboarding after the Go Live.
If additional employees of the CB are to be enabled to view and edit the certificates issued by the CB, the designated contact person must add them to their account.

1.4   Outlook 

Follow-ups on this System Update will be sent as reminders in the week prior to the launch and on the day the ISCC HUB goes live.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact ISCC.

2. Evolution of NUTS 02 Values  

Joint Communication from Voluntary Schemes [1]

To Economic Operators,
To whom it may concern,

NUTS 02 values are the commonly used term for typical greenhouse gas emissions from the cultivation of agricultural raw materials provided by EU Member States [2]. Third countries may also provide such values. NUTS 02 values [3] can be applied by agricultural producers and forwarded in the biofuel supply chain. The usage of these values may reduce administrative workload within the biofuel chain as no actual calculation of the emissions from the cultivation of the agricultural biomass is required. Numerous players throughout the sector use these NUTS 02 in their supply chains.

The NUTS 02 values that have been in use since July 2018 have been established in Member State reports based on the extraction and cultivation of agricultural feedstock in specific regions of the country and were approved by the European Commission. 

Updates on the applicable legislation

In September 2023, the European Commission indicated in a letter to the Voluntary Schemes that in accordance with Art. 31(4) of Directive (EU) 2018/2001 (RED II) the Commission may by means of implementing acts decide that respective reports from EU Member States or third countries, submitted in accordance with Art. 31(2) and (3) contain accurate for the purposes of measuring GHG emissions for cultivation of agricultural biomass feedstock. The letter was a reply to a joint communication of a large number of VS in which the need for a sufficient transition period for this approach had been outlined as to this date, only for Argentina and Australia such implementing acts are in place. 

Next steps/Outlook

Schemes are currently awaiting more precise instructions on the next steps and the possible transition to be put in place. The VS will have a meeting with the European Commission at the end of October in which the need for an appropriate transition period will be further promoted. 

We are aware that an immediate change in the application of NUTS 02 values could have dramatic results in the chain and that a smooth transition needs to be organised. 

Whilst the outcome of the meeting is still pending, it is our duty to provide you with the most transparent information about the use of NUTS 02 values. We will share more with you as soon as we have more news.

[1] 2BSvs, KZR Ining, REDcert, SURE, RSB, Red Tractor, Scottish Quality Crops, TASCC & UFAS Schemes
[2] NUTS 02 stands for territory classified as level 2 in the nomenclature of territorial units for statistics. See Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 May 2003 on the establishment of a common classification of territorial units for statistics
[3] If available for the feedstock and region where the feedstock is supplied from in the unit in g CO2eq/dry-ton of feedstock

3. Geocoordinate Data Provision Using Geocoordinate System WGS84

As part of the audit, auditors are required to verify the geocoordinates of the system user’s sites. As there are different coordinate systems in use, and in order to harmonise the geocoordinate data provided to ISCC, it will be mandatory to provide geocoordinates using the WGS84 coordinate system from 1 December 2023
Auditors using Google Maps already provide data in the correct coordinate systems. Auditors using other tools, such as Baidu, will be required to convert their geocoordinates to WGS84. This requirement is established to ensure that the geocoordinates are displayed correctly on the ISCC website together with the certificate information.

4. Self-declaration for Group Members in a Final Product Refinement Set Up

Under certain conditions, the group certification approach for Final Product Refinement (FPR) activities is applicable for certificate holders that outsource FPR activities to various sites in different locations (please see chapter 12.2 in the ISCC PLUS System Document v3.4.1). The outsourced site must provide a “self-declaration for outsourcing” to the certificate holder.
The template is now available in the client section of the ISCC website (login required).

5. APS v4.5 Reminder: Download and Install the New APS

On 15 September 2023 the use of APS v4.5 became mandatory. The APS v4.5 installation files for different Windows OS and MacOS are available here on our website. APS for Windows 7 is now available to download as well for auditors.

Important note for Mac users: The compatibility of the Mac software update Sonoma with APS v4.5 is currently being tested. It is strongly recommended to wait with the update until compatibility is confirmed by ISCC.

Auditors and CBs are welcome to reach out to in case of questions.