World News

Industry news and insights from Europe and around the World

UK News

Latest news and developments in the United Kingdom


Keep up-to-date with the latest new products and technology


General articles, applications and industry analysis

Baltic states hit by illegal imports

The Bridge of Friendship over the Narova River is one of the links between Estonia and Russia.

EUROPE: The illegal import of refrigerants in disposable cylinders continue with the Baltic states adding to the outcry.

In Estonia, the customs authority reports “a significant increase” in the number of attempts to import refrigerant from outside the EU. Lithuania is also being hit, with reports that its exchequer has lost up to €5m this year due to increased sales of illegal refrigerants.

The Estonian Tax and Customs Board (NTD) reports that this year there have already more than 200 attempts to bring illegal cylinders across the border from Russia. According to the NTD, there were virtually no such occurrences last year.

“In all these cases, we notified people about the safety requirements for this product and sent the goods back to the Russian Federation,” commented Videmar Linno, the head of the customs point at Ida on the Russian border. “In the case of repeated attempts, we, in addition to confiscation, have the right to impose a fine of up to €1,200,” he added.

Internet sales

Reports from neighbouring Lithuania echo concerns from the rest of Europe regarding internet sales of refrigerant in illegal non-refillable cylinders at lower than market prices. 

According to reports on the 15 min website, the Lithuanian budget has already lost €3m-€5m this year due to increased sales of illegal refrigerants.

Aware that individuals selling illegal refrigerant is not new, Mindaugas Rutkauskas of refrigerant distributors association Freolitus, said: “However, lately, the situation is really worrying since the number of such people has increased significantly.” He also expressed concern that these sales were completely open and, apparently, uncontrolled.

Related stories:

AREA raises illegal refrigerant concern21 August 2018
BELGIUM: AREA has raised concerns about illegal imports and black market trade in refrigerants in a submission to the European Commission. Read more…

Phase down sparks rise in illegal sales – 21 March 2018
EUROPE: With the F-gas regulations beginning to bite and higher GWP refrigerants becoming expensive and scarce, evidence of illegal imports and sales is increasing. Read more…

ICOOL acts on illegal refrigerant sales – 10 August 2018
CHINA: Chinese refrigerant supplier ICOOL has taken swift action after finding its refrigerant was being sold in illegal disposable cylinders in the EU. Read more…

German eBay awash with illegal R134a – 30 July 2018
GERMANY: With European authorities still reluctant to recognise the extent of illegal refrigerant sales, the Cooling Post has uncovered large amounts of illegal R134a being sold in Germany. Read more…

Poland swamped by illegal refrigerant – 25 July 2018
POLAND: A leading refrigerants organisation has reported a “massive inflow” of illegal HFCs into Poland. Read more…

Illegal refrigerant costs Greece €20m – 23 July 2018
GREECE: The Greek air conditioning and refrigeration industry has accused EU member state Bulgaria as being a gateway for illegal refrigerant from Albania, Macedonia and Turkey. Read more…

Cantas “shock” at illegal imports – 13 July 2018
TURKEY: Istanbul-based refrigerant supplier Cantas has reacted with shock to learn that its refrigerant is being imported into the UK in illegal non-refillable cylinders. Read more…

Latest News

20th February 2024

F-gas regulation published in Official Journal

EUROPE: The new F-gas regulation has now been published in the EU’s Official Journal, making it legally binding and entering into force in 20 days.
20th February 2024

Carrier Germany increases heat pump training

GERMANY: Carrier Germany is offering new hydraulics training courses  at its training centre on the IKKE campus in Duisburg to support the growing demand for heat pump expertise. 
20th February 2024

Oceanair acquired by builders’ merchant MKM

UK: Air conditioning and heat pump distributor Oceanair UK has been acquired by MKM, the independent builders’ merchant.
20th February 2024

Carrier to build factory and R&D facility in Saudi Arabia

SAUDI ARABIA: Carrier is to build an advanced manufacturing and R&D facility in Saudi Arabia in a partnership with Alat, a new Riyadh-based public investment fund company.
19th February 2024

BDN offers high level monitoring

IRELAND: The first installation of Bitzer’s Digital Network (BDN) in Ireland is providing high-level monitoring, system diagnostics and optimisation for an award-winning deli food specialist.
19th February 2024

Manchester receives heat pump training boost

UK: Daikin UK in partnership with the Green Skills Academy is to deliver the first heat pump training programme for college tutors and staff at nine Greater Manchester colleges.