Company hit by £1m penalty for F-gas breaches
UK: The Environment Agency has issued penalties totalling over £1m on a UK company for breaches of the F-gas regulations.
The company, IMO Gas Supplies Ltd, was issued with seven civil penalties, totalling £1,011,500, by the Environment Agency on September 2. These all related to breaches of regulation 31A of the Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases Regulations 2015 (SI 2015 No.310) during 2018 and 2019.
Specifically, IMO Gas Supplies received five penalties of £200,000 each for failing to ensure that the quantity of HFCs placed on the market did not exceed its quota. The company received a further penalty of £10,000 for failing to report imports of HFCs during the preceding calendar year to the European Commission by March 31 and a £1,500 penalty for not keeping records in accordance with the regulation on purchasers of HFCs including prescribed details.
An Environment Agency spokesperson told the Cooling Post: “This fine shows that we believe strongly in ensuring compliance with The Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases Regulations 2015, and will take strict enforcement action where necessary.
“Like all gas suppliers, IMO Gas Supplies Limited has a responsibility to operate in accordance with these regulations and protect against environmental harm.”
The Cooling Post has, so far, received no response for a comment from the company, but according to the Environment Agency, IMO Gas Supplies appealed these civil penalties but subsequently withdrew its appeal.
IMO Gas Supplies Ltd was incorporated in March 2018, registering a virtual office in Great Portland Street, London, as its registered address. However, it was at one time known to be operating from an address in Wembley. The directors are listed as Imran Zahir Khan and Mohammad Omar Khan. The company’s confirmation statement is currently five months overdue and the business is subject to an active proposal to be struck off.
IMO was known to have been dealing in a range of refrigerants including R134A, R404A, R410A and R407C.
This is only the second penalty imposed in the UK for breaches of the F-gas regulations, and the first since a government ruling in 2018 which allowed the Environment Agency to apply civil penalties for transgressions.
In 2016, Schneider Electric Ltd, UK subsidiary of the French multinational automation, control and energy management company, was fined £3,000 for failing to recover SF6 that was released to atmosphere at Stanford-le-Hope, Essex in 2013. Basildon Magistrates’ Court also ordered the company to pay £18,368 costs.
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