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Car service group warned of illegal refrigerant trade

BELGIUM: The EFCTC, the European refrigerant producers group, has written to European car service organisations to raise awareness of the proliferation of illegal refrigerant.

The EFCTC says it has written to the main automobile service companies and organisations requesting that they make their dealerships aware of the situation regarding the illegal import of R134a that is used extensively for the servicing of existing car air conditioning systems. 

In the letter, the EFCTC asks that the organisations’ members are directed to seek assurances that their suppliers can demonstrate that their R134a is legally sourced from an annual quota holder.

“The phase-down of HFCs has shown evidence that illegal imports of HFCs (in particular HFC-134a which is used in European automotive industry air conditioning system) are perceptibly increasing and, as a consequence, are becoming a threat for implementation of the EU F-gas regulation and for the environment protection,” the EFCTC says. 

The letter also notes that sales of R134a in disposable cylinders, which are banned in the EU, is increasing and stresses that the use of illegally imported product could cause a health and safety hazard. The EFCTC states: “There is no guarantee that the cylinders of drums illegally imported actually contain the correct products – and may actually contain more hazardous or flammable products posing significant risks for their users as well as impurities that could damage the HVAC system in cars.” 

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