Legal status & Certification of origin

This LAP is concerned with the legal status of hydrogen as a fuel and the procedures for certification of hydrogen fuel. Among other aspects, it investigates whether Hydrogen is recognized as an alternative fuel and under what conditions. The existence of common definitions of what constitutes “green” hydrogen is also researched.


Formal procedure by which an accredited or authorised person or agency assesses and verifies (and attests in writing by issuing a certificate) the origin, attributes, characteristics, quality, the calculation of greenhouse gas reduction potential of hydrogen in accordance with established requirements or standards

Pan-European Assessment:

Despite national / private initiatives (DE, DK, BE) to define “green” / “renewable” hydrogen, there is currently no binding or voluntary, uniform certification of origin system at European level

The absence of a common definition of green (or renewable) hydrogen can be a barrier that will slow down the implementation of (green) hydrogen as an alternative fuel. Divergent approaches may jeopardize the free movement of (green) hydrogen across borders.
Moreover, the absence of Guarantee of Origin (GoO) scheme for green (renewable) hydrogen hinders the development of a green (renewable) hydrogen market which may encourage the production of hydrogen from hydrocarbons that may reduce the overall environmental benefits of hydrogen in all applications (mobility, energy, industrial feedstock)
Is it a barrier?
Type of Barrier
Regulatory gap
Assessment Severity
It is important to develop legislation for the certification of the source of hydrogen. When legislation does not consider hydrogen as a renewable resource of energy, legislation might become a barrier to hydrogen as alternative fuel. This issue will be solved after we have agreed on CertifHy.


Question 1a - What is the legal status of hydrogen as a fuel?
a - According to the Alternative fuel Infrastructure Directive (AFID) Hydrogen is identified currently as a principal alternative fuel with a potential for long–term oil substitution. Production / delivery / retailing is or will be covered by Law (or PGS35).
Question 1b - Is the EU legislation (Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Directive) transposed in you country, and how has it been assessed?
b - The Netherlands has opted to include hydrogen in the National policy. The majority of measures in the Dutch National Policy Framework (NPF) are already existing and well framed by the Energy Agreement and the Fuel Vision as well as by the Dutch Maritime Strategy for 2015-2025 in the form of administrative agreements and public-private partnerships. The national targets and objectives regarding alternative fuels infrastructure include a target for H2 on the road.
Question 2 - At European level, no binding guarantee of origin certification system of hydrogen origin is established yet, while there are initiatives (e.g CertifHy project and others) - Is a certification system of hydrogen origin established at national level?
It is important to develop / have a common European and/or worldwide system for certification of origin e.g. CertifHy. At this moment, there are several initiatives such as the Initiative of certification of Blue Hydrogen and hydrogen with no CO2 effects. There is no national certification system for the origin of hydrogen but this is under development on EU level (e.g. CertifHy). The Netherlands has decided to follow the outcomes of CertifHy.
Question 3a - What is the scope of certification (e.g. feedstocks and processes that can be used to generate hydrogen) for hydrogen?
a - No scope available yet. Integrated scope is preferred, which looks at the total picture of the origin and distribution and storage of the hydrogen as a procedure you can certify. Sources/origin, including but not limited to the following sources: natural gas, electrolysi and renewable sources.
Question 3b - Which proofs of origin of feedstocks and energy sources for each pathway mentioned in question 3a must be provided?
b - The proofs of origin which are currently under development in the EU CERTYFHY project. Decided is to work on proof of origin of grey, blue and green hydrogen. But CertyfHy is not officially agreed on yet. The different grades are: 1) If the hydrogen is produced from natural gas or other fossil origin (not renewable), it is called grey hydrogen; 2) If the CO2 of the fossil origin is captured via producing CO for chemical reasons or via carbon capture and storage (CCS) (not renewable but climate neutral), it is called blue hydrogen; 3) If the hydrogen is produced via electrolyse from green electricity or produced from green waste materials, it is called green hydrogen.
Question 4 What legal regulations are applicable in your country in relation with greenhouse gas reduction obligations?
There is no legislation yet. However, we have an energy agreement and we work on the energy agreement 2.0. We have an agreement between government and industry (MEE Covenant) permit requirements. The majority of the parliaments has agreed with CO2 reduction of 49% in 2030 and 95% in 2050. EU Energy directive using best practice rules. Paris Agreement (European level). From the viewpoint of alternative fuels, appropriate regulation would be desirable. 20–20–20 targets as a non– Emissions Trading System share of 16 % (binding); 14 % renewable energy (binding); 1,5 % savings per year. The Netherlands chose to impose the obligations of these European regulations on the companies. In particular the companies supplying fuel for transport to the Dutch market. The Dutch Emissions Authority (NEa) takes care of the implementation, the supervision and the enforcement of the Dutch legislation and regulations.
Describe the comparable technology and its relevance with regard to hydrogen
“Benzinewet” mentions fuels, hydrogen is not included and this may have as a consequence that there are other requirements.

National legislation:

EU Legislation:

  • Directive 2014/94/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure (AFID)
    The AFID establishes a common framework of measures for the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure in the Union in order to minimize dependence on oil and to mitigate the environmental impact of transport.

    The Directive sets out minimum requirements for the building-up of alternative fuels infrastructure, including recharging points for electric vehicles and refuelling points for natural gas (LNG and CNG) and hydrogen, to be implemented by means of Member States' national policy frameworks, as well as common technical specifications for such recharging and refuelling points, and user information requirements.

    Article 2 defines ‘Alternative fuels’ as fuels or power sources which serve, at least partly, as a substitute for fossil oil sources in the energy supply to transport and which have the potential to contribute to its decarbonisation and enhance the environmental performance of the transport sector. They include, inter alia: hydrogen.

    It lays down, in Article 5, that Member States which decide to include hydrogen refuelling points accessible to the public in their national policy frameworks shall ensure that, by 31 December 2025, an appropriate number of such points are available, to ensure the circulation of hydrogen-powered motor vehicles, including fuel cell vehicles, within networks determined by those Member States, including, where appropriate, cross-border links.

    Annex II contains technical specifications for hydrogen refuelling points for motor vehicles and additionally lays down that:
    • Outdoor hydrogen refuelling points dispensing gaseous hydrogen used as fuel on board motor vehicles shall comply with the technical specifications of the ISO/TS 20100 Gaseous Hydrogen Fuelling specification.
    • The hydrogen purity dispensed by hydrogen refuelling points shall comply with the technical specifications included in the ISO 14687-2 standard.
    • Hydrogen refuelling points shall employ fuelling algorithms and equipment complying with the ISO/TS 20100 Gaseous Hydrogen Fuelling specification.
    • Connectors for motor vehicles for the refuelling of gaseous hydrogen shall comply with the ISO 17268 gaseous hydrogen motor vehicle refuelling connection devices standard.
  • Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC (RED)
    Directive 2009/28/EC establishes a common framework for the promotion of energy from renewable sources. It sets mandatory national targets for the overall share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy and for the share of energy from renewable sources in transport.

    It sets national overall targets for the share of energy from renewable sources (Article 3 and part A of Annex I) as well as a legally binding 10% target (energy content) for renewable energy in transport in 2020. It also, (in Article 15) defines the role and the scope of guarantees of origin of electricity, heating and cooling produced from renewable energy sources
  • Directive (EU) 2015/1513 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 September 2015 amending Directive 98/70/EC relating to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels and amending Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) Directive)
    Directive (EU) 2015/1514 additionally promotes the use of advanced sustainable biofuels and renewable liquid and gaseous transport fuels of non-biological origin. It defines “Renewable liquid and gaseous transport fuels of non-biological origin” as liquid or gaseous fuels other than biofuels whose energy content comes from renewable energy sources other than biomass, and which are used in transport;

    It also provides that the contribution of renewable liquid and gaseous transport fuels of non-biological origin towards the target shall be considered to be twice its energy content
  • Directive 98/70/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 October 1998 relating to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels and amending Council Directive 93/12/EEC (FQD)
    Although not originally designed to impact (negatively or positively) alternative fuels (The objective of these legislative acts being to set technical specifications on health and environmental grounds for fuels to be used for vehicles equipped with positive-ignition and compression-ignition engines), Directive 98/70/ EC and its subsequent amendments indirectly affect the use of fuels which are defined by low life cycle greenhouse gas emissions per unit of energy as well the use of carbon capture and storage.
  • Directive 2009/30/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 amending Directive 98/70/EC as regards the specification of petrol, diesel and gas-oil and introducing a mechanism to monitor and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    Article 7a of Directive 2009/30/EC states that Member States shall require suppliers to reduce as gradually as possible life cycle greenhouse gas emissions per unit of energy from fuel and energy supplied by 6 % by 31 December 2020 and aim for an additional 2% reduction through the use of any technology (including carbon capture and storage) capable of reducing life cycle greenhouse gas emissions per unit of energy from fuel or energy supplied