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Confiscated units are de-gassed and the refrigerant recovered from the units before destruction, according to the Saudi authorities

SAUDI ARABIA: The crack-down on air conditioners that do not meet new energy efficiency standards continues with more than 850,000 non-compliant units disclosed to authorities and a further 15,000 confiscated.

These new seizures come on top of the  40,000 non-compliant units confiscated by the Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI) in January.

Under the new regulations introduced at the beginning of this year, all imported and locally manufactured split system and window-type air conditioners being sold in the Kingdom must comply with star ratings of 3-6 based on EERs of 8.5-10 and vendors must display energy efficiency cards stating their efficiencies. A minimum of four stars applies for split conditioners and three stars for window type conditioners.

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Non-compliant air conditioners inside one of the raided warehouses

This week, the MCI further revealed that 24 companies had disclosed more than 850,000 air conditioners existing in their warehouses not complying with the standard. These units will be allowed to be re-exported outside the Kingdom. MCI also confiscated and destroyed around 15,000 non-compliant air conditioners from a store which did not disclose their stock by the deadline of January 26.

Special pathways had previously been set up at Saudi customs points to allow violating units to be easily re-exported and for the reimbursement of fees paid upon import.

Raid

On Tuesday (February 11), the MCI announced it had raided a warehouse in Hafr Al Batin storing large quantities of non-compliant air conditioners. These units had been smuggled from the local market in order to avoid the inspection campaigns carried out by the Ministry in various regions of the Kingdom.

40,000 ac units seized in energy crackdown – January 15