This page last reviewed April 27, 2018

Compliance Instrument Tracking System Service

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What is CITSS?

The Compliance Instrument Tracking System Service (CITSS) is a market tracking system that supports the implementation of greenhouse gas (GHG) cap-and-trade programs for California and other jurisdictions.  CITSS provides accounts for market participants to hold and retire compliance instruments and to participate in transactions of compliance instruments with other account holders.

CITSS is used to:
  • register entities participating in the California Cap-and-Trade Program;
  • track the ownership of compliance instruments;
  • enable and record compliance instrument transfers;
  • facilitate emissions compliance; and
  • support market oversight.

To obtain compliance instrument accounts in CITSS, an individual must first complete user registration to receive a CITSS User ID (STEP 1).  Following approval, the user may then apply for compliance instrument accounts (STEP 2) for themselves or on behalf of an entity which has authorized them to do so.

CITSS Linkage Including California, Québec, and Ontario

The California Cap-and-Trade Program, Québec Cap-and-Trade System, and Ontario Cap-and-Trade Program will link on January 1, 2018, allowing mutual acceptance of compliance instruments issued by each jurisdiction and joint auction of GHG allowances. Linking allows trading of Ontario instruments with California and Québec entities and California and Québec instruments with Ontario entities beginning January 1, 2018. However, linkage with Ontario in CITSS will not be enabled until January 3, 2018 - the first business day following January 1 that is common to all jurisdictions. Although the jurisdictions will recognize contracts for allowances delivered on January 1-2, 2018, please note that CITSS representatives will not be able to enter CITSS transfers for contracts delivered on January 1-2, 2018 between entities in Ontario and entities in other jurisdictions until January 3, 2018.

On January 3, 2018, CITSS will also update the Holding Limit to 15,717,500 instruments, reflecting the combined annual budgets of the linked jurisdictions. In addition, on January 1, CITSS will automatically transfer allowances from an entity’s Allowance Allocation Holding Account (AAHA). As the result of this transfer, some entities may exceed the Holding Limit until January 3, 2018, when CITSS increases the Holding Limit to reflect linking with Ontario.

Following January 3, 2018, as information is available, jurisdictions will update cross-jurisdiction Corporate Association Groups (CAGs) to reflect new associated entities in the linked program. This action may also result in some entities exceeding the holding limit until they can effect transfers or implement new holding limit distributions beginning on January 3, 2018.

For California entities, please contact the Help Desk at 916-324-7659 to determine how to remain in compliance if your entity faces either of these Holding Limit exceedance circumstances.

How Do I Register and Setup an Account?

To participate in California's Cap-and-Trade Program, an individual or entity must have a CITSS account to hold, transfer, and retire compliance instruments.  To obtain CITSS account(s), an individual or entity must complete a two-step process (flow chart):

STEP 1Apply for a CITSS User ID (User Registration)

Individuals who will be representatives on the individual or entity's account(s) must apply for CITSS User IDs.  An account must have at least two representatives: the Primary Account Representative (PAR) and an Alternate Account Representative (AAR).  Individual account holders are allowed to act as both the PAR and AAR on their account.  All account representatives must be registered users in CITSS.

To register, individuals must complete electronic data entry in CITSS and mail completed hard copy documentation and forms generated in the CITSS registration process to the California Registrar who will review the registration package.  Following approval, the user may then apply for compliance instrument accounts (STEP 2) for themselves or on behalf of an entity which has authorized them to do so.

Know-Your-Customer (KYC) Documentation Options for Representatives and Agents of a Covered Entity or Opt-in Entity 

Covered entities or opt-in covered entities (covered entity), as defined in section 95802 of the Cap-and-Trade Regulation, have two (2) options for submitting required KYC documentation for employees registering in CITSS.  Guidance contained in the Know-Your-Customer Documentation Options for Individuals Registering in CITSSpdf describes the 2 options available. 

If Option 2 is selected, the following forms will be required:

STEP 2: Setup an Account (Account Application)

After an individual has been approved as a CITSS User and the User ID is active (i.e. completed STEP 1), that individual will be able to apply for accounts for themselves or on behalf of an entity that has authorized them to do so.  Creating an account to hold compliance instruments in CITSS includes electronic data entry in CITSS and mailing required hard copy forms and attestations to the California Registrar.  After completing the electronic account application, your information will be electronically submitted to the California Registrar.  In addition to the electronic submission, printed copies, signed by the PAR and AAR, and additional required documents must be mailed to the California Registrar for approval.

Corporate Associations and Account Consolidation:

The Cap-and-Trade Regulation requires entities to disclose corporate associations.  CITSS Form #3, Corporate Associations and Structure Form includes the necessary information.  Per the Cap-and-Trade Regulation, CARB will provide a Consolidated Entity Account (CEA) to entities that have multiple facilities participating in the California Cap-and-Trade Program that have a direct corporate association.  Entities with multiple facilities that will be managed under a CEA can provide the information for all facilities during the account application process.  If an entity with a direct corporate association chooses to not be part of a CEA, each such entity must formally request to opt-out of the consolidated accounts.      

When Do I Need to Register By?

Compliance instrument accounts must be established before an entity can hold compliance instruments or apply to participate in a GHG allowance auction or reserve sale.  For entities or individuals that intend to participate in an auction that do not have approved CITSS accounts, CARB recommends that CITSS user registration and the CITSS account application be completed as quickly as possible.

CITSS User Guides

CITSS User Guides have been developed to support individuals and entity representatives that are participating in California's Cap-and-Trade Program as they complete activities in CITSS.  CITSS User Guides have been organized into three (3) separate "Volumes" specific to the types of activities that users may conduct in CITSS.

The CITSS User Guides are anticipated to be updated in 2016 to reflect all CITSS functionality.  Until the User Guides are updated, User Reference documents that accompany new releases of the CITSS application are provided as a supplement to the current User Guides.  The CITSS User Guides may contain information that has been superseded by the User Reference documents listed below. 

CITSS User Guides 

  1. Volume I: User Registration and Profile Management pdf
  2. Volume II: Account Application and Account Management pdf
  3. Volume III: Conducting Transfers in CITSS pdf

CITSS User Reference Materials 

  1. User Reference CITSS Version 3.0  pdf (posted August 2013)
  2. User Reference CITSS Version 4.0  pdf (posted August 2014)
  3. User Reference CITSS Version 5.0 pdf (posted January 2015) 
  4. User References CITSS Version 6.0 pdf 
      5. User References CITSS Version 7.0.  There are no CITSS 7.0 User References as all updates were related to jurisdiction
      6. User Reference CITSS Version 8.0 pdf (posted June 2017)


To support participation in California's Cap-and-Trade Program and stakeholder use of CITSS, CARB staff held a compliance training webinar on Wednesday, August 26, 2015.  The presentation reviewed during the CITSS portion of the webinar is below.  This presentation demonstrates how account representatives use CITSS to prepare for the compliance deadline and review their compliance status after the processing of the compliance event. 

 Help Desk

As of September 30, 2017, CITSS Help Desk services will be available from CARB.   CARB Help Desk Services will be available during the hours of 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific Time from the contact information listed below.

Help Desk Phone: 916-324-7659

Help Desk Email:


Security of Confidential and Personal Information

CARB has developed a policy statement, "Protecting the Security of Confidential and Personal Information",pdf to respond to questions regarding the protection of personal information submitted in the course of CITSS User Registration and CITSS Account Application.  In addition, all CARB programs including the Cap-and-Trade Program adhere to the California Air Resources Board Information System Privacy Policy established for CARB.

Forms for Review

Following the online data entry completed for both CITSS User Registration and Account Application, CITSS will generate three forms that will need to be completed, signed, notarized where applicable, and mailed to the California Registrar.  CARB has provided the following blank and sample copies of these forms for your reference and to help you prepare for the documentation requirements that will be completed during CITSS User Registration and Account Application.

User Registration Forms:

  1. User Registration Checklist pdf (updated 4/2018)
  2. User Registration Form pdf 
  3. Proof of Identity Form pdf (updated 4/2018)

Covered and Opt-in Entity Representatives Optional Know Your Customer Documentation (Option 2):

  1. Know-Your-Customer Compliance Documentation with Covered Entity Attestation Form pdf
  2. Know-Your-Customer Compliance Documentation with Individual Attestation Form pdf

Account Application Forms:

  1. Account Application Checklist pdf
  2. Account Application with Attestation Form pdf (updated 8/2013)
  3. Corporate Associations and Structure Form (updated 4/2018)

    Guidance, including updated requirements for the Corporate Associations and Structure Form, is available at: 
    Corporate Disclosures Guidancepdf(updated 2/2015) 

Account Management Forms:

Facility Management Forms:


For questions or comments, please contact Chuck Seidler at (916) 324-0931