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23 tonnes of illegal HFC seized in Greece

GREECE: Authorities in Greece have seized over 23 tonnes of illegal HFC refrigerant found in a warehouse near Athens.

The raid on the warehouse in Aigaleo, in the west of Athens, by officers of Greece’s Special Secretariat of Financial and Economic Crime Unit (SDΟΕ) uncovered 1,939 illegal disposable cylinders of HFC refrigerant. The SDOE has not revealed the types of refrigerant seized but photos indicate it included R407C and R404A.

This latest seizure, the largest since Polish authorities seized 25 tonnes of HFC in April, suggests an increasing crackdown on illegal imports of quota-busting material into the European Union. The European Commission has demanded action from member states after being alerted to the problem by the refrigeration and air conditioning industry.

The SDOE gives no indication as to how the refrigerant entered the country but it is confirmed as having originated from China. 

Greece is seen as one of the major ports of entry for the illegal refrigerant, which has flooded the European market, disrupting the market and threatening the environmental credibility of the European F-gas phase down. 

Despite the European Commission initially stating that the level of illegal activity was “modest”, the SDOE acknowledged that the black market for refrigerants was “large, both internationally and in our country”. 

There has been no indication of arrests in this latest case but investigations are said to be continuing to find those involved and discover how the refrigerant was imported.

Related stories:

Poland stops huge shipment of illegal refrigerant4 April 2019
POLAND: Authorities in Łódź have intercepted a shipment of 25 tonnes of illegal refrigerant with a market value of around €600,000. Read more…

Illegal refrigerants: identifying the dangers25 August 2019
With illegally imported refrigerants continuing to blight the European industry and undermine legislation, Martyn Cooper of the British Refrigeration Association (BRA) explains how to identify them and issues surrounding their use. Read more…

Euro associations warn of illegal refrigerant risks17 July 2019
EUROPE: The leading European air conditioning and refrigeration associations are behind a new document warning of the consequences of buying refrigerant from unsafe sources. Read more…

Europe seeks talks with China on illegal F-gas trade15 July 2019
EUROPE: The European Commission says it is to seek discussions with other non-EU countries, including China, in an effort to stem the tide of illegal refrigerant. Read more…

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