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EC making “nonsense” of F-gas quotas

EUROPE: The European Commission has been accused of making a “nonsense” of the F-gas quota system over its failure to tackle the issue of illegal F-gas imports.

Lithuanian MEP Rolandas Paksas maintains that such inaction could also cost millions of euros in lost taxes.

In a written question to the European Commission, Paksas says that illegally imported refrigerants can pose a major risk to the health and safety of equipment installers and users and can make equipment less reliable. In addition, it also jeopardises the achievement of the CO2-equivalent reduction goals set by the F-gas regulation.

He asks why the Commission is not taking urgent interim measures to combat illegal imports of bulk HFC gases and equipment, and if, and when, it plans to impose stricter controls at the EU’s borders and enforce a more comprehensive and coordinated system on customs and quota controls?

The Commission president has up to six weeks to respond.

The problem of illegal refrigerants has received extensive coverage by the Cooling Post. In a recent answer to questions from the Cooling Post, the Commission insisted it was taking the illegal F-gas trade issue “extremely seriously”. It maintained it was cooperating with industry and member states to enforce the F-gas regulation and tackle any illegal activities including control of trade at the borders.

Commission initiatives have included a workshop for both custom and F-gas experts to brief them on possible customs controls. These include dedicated custom codes for bulk gas and equipment, and checks on the registrations of companies for HFC import and export and available quota and authorisation amounts.

An IT system is also currently being created, which will allow for real-time debiting of quotas and authorisations. This would help companies to keep track of their remaining amounts, and allow for the tracking of all related shipments coming in, in the Commission’s database. This IT system is expected to become operational in 2020.

Related stories:

EC gets serious on illegal F-gas trade10 December 2018
BELGIUM: The European Commission says it is taking the illegal trade in refrigerants “extremely seriously”, is aware that it could undermine the phase-down, but admits it is uncertain at this time of the amounts involved. Read more…

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