The EPA explains RINs on its
website under the Renewable Fuel
Under the RFS, oil refiners must
blend increasing volumes of biofuels
into the nation’s gasoline and diesel
supply every year or purchase credits
from those who do.
RINs are the credits used for compliance and are the “currency” of the
• Renewable fuel producers generate RINs.
• Market participants trade RINs.
• Obligated parties obtain and then
retire RINs for compliance.
RINs may be traded in two forms:
• Assigned RINs. These are directly
associated with a batch of fuel
and travel with that batch of fuel
from party to party. Purchasers
obtain the renewable fuel and RINs
• Separated RINs. These were
formerly assigned with a batch of
fuel, but are no longer assigned to
a batch. Purchase only the RIN.
Typical RIN transactions examples:
• Generate. When a fuel is produced, a RIN is generated.
• Buy. When an assigned/separated
RIN is bought/traded by a buyer
from a seller.
• Sell. When an assigned/separated
RIN is sold/traded by a seller to a
• Separate. When a RIN is separated from the fuel to which it was
• Retire. When a RIN is used to
demonstrate compliance or is
required to be retired for other
The regulations outline the following types of RIN market participant categories:
• Obligated parties (refiners and
importers of gasoline or diesel).
• Renewable fuel exporters.
• Renewable fuel producers.
• Registered RIN market participants.
Participants include domestic
and foreign companies that may fall
under one or more categories and
can change from year to year based
on trading or business activities.
RIN Transactions in EMTS
The EPA moderated transaction
system (EMTS) is a database of record
for all RIN transactions.
• Parties enter into a trade agreement outside of EMTS.
• Each trading partner then enters
into EMTS a separate record (buy/
• EMTS matches the trades. If the
quality assurance check is passed,
RINs are transferred between
Companies maintain RIN
accounts by D-codes and RIN year
Example Life Cycle
fuel created or
RINs are separated
due to fuel blending
*RVO = Renewable Volume Obligation
of a Renewable
Purchased RINs are
retired to fulfill RVO*