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Defra launches online HFC register for no-deal Brexit

UK: Companies trading in HFC refrigerants or importing products that contain HFCs need to register in order to continue trading in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

A new online system launched today by Defra seeks to maintain EU restrictions on F-gases and ODS in the event of a no deal Brexit.

While regulations and supply will remain the same, if the UK leaves the EU on 29 March without a deal, UK businesses that produce or trade in these gases or products that contain them will have to register on the new system by 12 April 2019. This will replace the current system which controls emissions for all EU Member States.

“Delivering a negotiated deal with the EU remains the government’s top priority, but it is the job of a responsible government to ensure we are prepared for all scenarios, including no deal,” said environment minister Thérèse Coffey.

“The new system is part of the Government’s commitment to maintain environmental standards once we leave the EU. The continued phase out of harmful greenhouse gases is critical to the global fight against climate change.”

Under the new requirements, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, businesses that produce or import F-gas or ODSs in the UK must register to the new UK system before 12 April 2019. 

UK businesses which are already registered on the EU system will receive an email from Defra about how to register. Other businesses can also register online.

Businesses that register before exit day – 29 March 2019 – will be able to operate as normal from 30 March 2019. Anyone who registers between 30 March and 12 April 2019 would have to wait for their registration and quota application to be approved before they can trade.

Those looking to secure an F-gas quota for the first time will need to wait until after 12 April 2019 before they can use their quota to import gas. Anyone registering after 12 April 2019 would not get a quota for 2019.

UK businesses that import products containing F-gas or ODSs must also be authorised under the new UK system. Defra also reminds UK businesses that export F-gas or ODSs, or products containing them, to the EU will need to set up an office in the EU or appoint an Only Representative to meet EU regulations.

Businesses and members of the public that use products that contain F-gas or ODSs can continue to operate as they do now as regulations and supply will remain the same.

The register can be found here

Those seeking further information are advised to read the latest guidance document here.

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