Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) Master Agreement

The LEAP RINs Committee published several document templates [1] in 2012 and 2013 to address the trading of “RINs” (Renewable Identification Numbers) under the EPA’s Renewable Fuels Standard program:

  • the LEAP Master Agreement for Purchasing and Selling Renewable Identification Numbers Version 1.0 in February, 2013
  • the User’s Guide To The LEAP Master Agreement for Purchasing and Selling Renewable Identification Numbers Version 1.0.  in July 2013
  • the LEAP Master Agreement for Purchasing and Selling Renewable Identification Numbers Version 1.1 and
  • the LEAP Single Trade Agreement For Purchasing and Selling Renewable Identification Numbers Version 1.0. in September 2013

These documents were created to support the trading of RINs amidst the backdrop of regulatory, legal, and procedural uncertainty.  Unlike the oil, natural gas, and electricity markets which have evolved over the span of decades, prior to the LEAP effort, there were no industry-standard documents (i.e., master trading agreements, confirmations, Product Transfer Documents, and invoices) governing RINs trading. Concurrent allegations by the EPA of fraud by certain producers of RINs and the resultant recent issuance of numerous Notices of Violation from the EPA also raised the need for standardized documentation.  The Committee’s intention was to create and make available to the market an unbiased set of terms and conditions that provide legal and operational clarity for the rights and obligations of the buyer and seller of RINs.

The original LEAP RINs Master Agreement (1.0) was prepared by a Committee comprised of representatives from companies including Archer Daniels Midland, Amphora, BP, Camin Cargo, Cargill, Chevron, Glencore, ICE/eConfirm, ISDA, Mercuria, Morgan Stanley, RWE, Shell, SolArc, and Statoil.

The updated version of the RINs Master Agreement (1.1) was made necessary by a change in an EPA Renewable Fuels rulemaking, and removes a ‘hardcoded’ reference to a February 28th yearly deadline for compliance.  This version also includes certain other modifications related to the definition of LEAP, the change in a calculation of payment from Buyer to Seller in the case of a failure to accept or deny RINs, and a change in the Representations and Warranties section.  All of the differences between Version 1.0 and 1.1 are summarized in an accompanying document, also available on the LEAP website in the same location.

The RINs Single Trade Agreement was developed based on feedback from LEAP members who wished to transact under the same terms of the RINs Master Agreement while using a document template that contains all of the terms for a single   transaction.  We expect this document to be used between parties who transact RINs rarely with each other, and as such do not wish to negotiate a master agreement.

All the items above can be downloaded free of charge from the LEAP website at http://www.energyleap.org/document-downloads/

 if you have any questions about these documents.


[1] The template may require revision and further customization by market participants depending on their individual commercial and legal objectives for each RINs transaction.  Parties should consult their own legal counsel and other professional advisors when using the template to effect RINs transactions.