The Biodiversity Offsets Scheme (BOS) is now used to create biodiversity credits and biodiversity offset obligations generated from development and clearing.
There are arrangements in place to support a smooth transition from the former legislation and BioBanking program to the BOS.
Trading of credits
Anyone is able to buy credits subject to the regulations. A typical purchaser could be a developer seeking to offset their projects' impacts on biodiversity. Other buyers could be government bodies using the market to achieve conservation outcomes or philanthropic organisations using the scheme's robust structure to ensure the benefits of their endowments are maintained in perpetuity.
Ultimately, the market will determine the overall price paid for each credit. The landowner and credit purchaser will be free to negotiate any price as long as the Total Fund Deposit is deposited in the BioBanking Trust Fund.
To transfer biodiversity credits an Application to transfer biodiversity credits (DOC 47KB) must be completed and submitted by the current owner/s of the credits along with the appropriate fee.
Retirement of biodiversity credits
Biodiversity credits must be retired to offset the impact of a development on biodiversity values. This may be done to comply with the terms set out in a BioBanking statement or, in the case of State Significant Development or State Significant Infrastructure, to satisfy consent conditions under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. Biodiversity credits can also be retired voluntarily, for example by philanthropic organisations.
In some situations a landholder may agree within the BioBanking agreement to retire the credits generated from the site. Until these credits are retired they are identified as `committed' on the BioBanking Public Registers. Committed credits are not available for trading.
To retire biodiversity credits, an Application to retire biodiversity credits (DOC 100KB) must be completed and submitted along with the appropriate fees.
Information about credit holdings, transactions, price history and retirements is shown in the BioBanking Public Registers.
Biodiversity Offsets Scheme credit transfer and retirement
Information about BOS credit holdings, transactions, price history and retirements is shown in the BOS Public Registers.
To transfer BOS credits an Application to transfer biodiversity offsets scheme credits (BOS) form (DOCX 156KB) must be completed and submitted.
Once credits have been transferred from seller to buyer, they may need to be retired from the credit market by submitting an Application to retire BOS biodiversity credits (DOCX 133KB).
An application to transfer or retire BOS credits must be accompanied by the relevant fees.