We administer the national carbon market for Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) and Safeguard Mechanism credit units (SMCs). ACCUs and SMCs are tradable credits earned within their respective schemes.

ACCUs can be traded or sold on the secondary market or to the Australian Government through carbon abatement contracts.

Australian National Registry of Emissions Units (ANREU)

The Australian National Registry of Emissions Units (ANREU) is an online system that tracks the location and ownership of ACCUs.

Through ANREU, ACCUs can be:

  • issued
  • traded
  • transferred
  • surrendered
  • cancelled.


The secondary market

The market's supply and demand determines the value of ACCUs. The price can vary based on demand and how successful ACCU projects are.

Participants can sell their ACCUs on the secondary market to:

  • corporations with a liability under the Safeguard Mechanism
  • organisations wanting to voluntarily reduce emissions
  • investors wanting to diversify their portfolios and contribute to climate change mitigation efforts.

Supply and demand

The market has 2 sides, supply and demand.

The supply side of the market is sourced from:

  • existing ACCU Scheme projects
  • new and expanded ACCU Scheme projects
  • ACCUs held in ANREU.

The demand for ACCUs from multiple sources can dictate how many ACCUs need to be supplied. Sources of demand include:

Voluntary markets allow organisations and different government bodies to voluntarily reduce their emissions by sourcing and voluntarily cancelling ACCUs. Buyers are often interested in the non-carbon benefits associated with the underlying projects.

Learn more about voluntary offsetting and surrender.

Quarterly Carbon Market Reports

Learn more about the market's supply and demand of ACCUs in our Quarterly Carbon Market Reports.

View our Quarterly Carbon Market Reports

Buying and selling ACCUs

To find ACCUs for sale, you can search the:

ACCUs are transferred between sellers and buyers through ANREU.

Both parties must have an ANREU account to transfer or receive ACCUs.

ACCUs can't be transferred to an account in a foreign registry. We can restrict transfers within ANREU to:

  • ensure the integrity of the registry
  • prevent, mitigate or minimise abuse of the registry
  • prevent, mitigate or minimise criminal activity involving the registry.

An ACCU can be transmitted by:

  • assignment, such as a sale or gift
  • operation of law, such as the death or bankruptcy of the registered holder.

A transmission is not valid until we:

  • remove the unit's entry from the transferor's account
  • create the unit's entry in the transferee's account.

ACCU Scheme projects can also achieve a range of benefits called non-carbon benefits or co-benefits. These include:

  • environmental
  • economic
  • social
  • cultural.

Non-carbon benefits can be achieved from:

  • increasing biodiversity from the protection and regeneration of native vegetation
  • using traditional fire management practices providing new income streams for First Nations communities
  • improving soil health and resilience in the land sector.

Purchasing ACCUs with non-carbon benefits can offer additional value in meeting sustainability commitments.

If buying ACCUs, you need to enter into a commercial agreement with the seller. ACCU sellers often publish information on their websites about a project's non-carbon benefits.

Before you buy, ensure you:

  • ask the seller about the specific project and ACCU project identification number
  • ask where you can find further information about the project
  • verify the project identification number on our project register.

You can also learn about projects with non-carbon benefits through the Carbon Market Institute.

Commercial agreements should specify the project details and provide authenticity assurance of the non-carbon benefits delivered by the project.

We don't conduct checks or provide assurance on non-carbon benefit claims. You are responsible for doing due diligence when buying ACCUs with non-carbon benefits.

After receiving ACCUs in your ANREU account, verify your commercial agreement details match the register's.

If we close an ANREU account for failing to comply with the ANREU Act or ANREU Regulations, any ACCUs within the account will be cancelled.

Account holders may voluntarily cancel an ACCU through the ANREU. Once received, we will remove the entry for the cancelled unit.

We will also cancel ACCUs surrendered under the Safeguard Mechanism from 1 July 2016.

ACCUs as financial products

ACCUs are classified as financial products under the Corporations Act. This means some carbon market participants require an Australian financial services (AFS) licence if they:

  • provide financial advice
  • buy, sell or trade ACCUs
  • operate and market ACCUs or derivative of ACCUs
  • operate a registered managed investment scheme
  • operate custodial or depository services.

We recommend you seek independent, professional advice when trading ACCUs. For more information, read our statement on the legal characteristics of ACCUs.

Safeguard Mechanism credit units (SMCs)

Safeguard Mechanism credit units (SMCs) are tradeable credits.

Safeguard facilities can surrender SMCs, along with ACCUs, to meet their compliance obligations.

SMCs will be available to trade SMCs in early 2025.

Learn about the Safeguard Mechanism and what's to come for SMCs.

Australian market licences

Entities who wish to establish and operate a financial market dealing in carbon units may be required to obtain an Australian market licence.

Australian market licences can be granted by the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation on advice from the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).

For more information:

New Unit and Certificate Register

We're in the process of creating an Australian Carbon Exchange. This will include a new Unit and Certificate Register. This register will initially hold carbon credits only. With time it will also incorporate renewable energy certificates.