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EC welcomes private F-gas action

EUROPE: The European Commission has praised the action taken by a group of Italian contractors to prevent illegal online sales of refrigerant.

Replying to questions from members of the European parliamentary group Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD), Arias Cañete, the commissioner for climate action and energy said, today, that he welcomed action taken by private companies to take illegal traders to court.

EFDD members Ignazio Corrao and Dario Tamburrano asked whether the European Commission was aware, and what its view was, of the threatened action by the Italian contractors to take Amazon to court for selling HFC refrigerant without requiring buyers to be F-gas certified. Amazon eventually removed the offending items before the case came to court.

The EFDD also asked whether such a situation had come to light in other member states and if, and how, the Commission intended to safeguard authorised refrigerant resellers and distributors.

In his reply, today, Arias Cañete said the Commission has been informed of several cases of illegal online sales of refrigerant gases in different member states. He claimed the Commission was always bringing such cases to the attention of the relevant member states and asking them to take action against such practices and report on the actions taken.

On the actions taken by the Italian contractors, he said: “The Commission welcomes the action taken by private companies to take illegal market actors to court as a complementary way of ensuring compliance by market actors.”

He insisted that member states were responsible for taking all measures necessary to ensure that the provisions of the F-gas regulations (517/2014) were implemented, including the issuing of penalties according to national law.

“The Commission will continue to act in cases of infringement of the regulation, in particular with regard to illegal trade and sales, to ensure that the envisaged emission reductions can be achieved and that entities selling hydrofluorocarbons legally, are facing fair competition,” Cañete said.

Related stories:

EC gets serious on illegal F-gas trade – 10 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…

Amazon Italy removes refrigerant adverts18 November 2018
ITALY: A group of Italian refrigeration contractors have been successful in getting HFC refrigerants removed from the Amazon website that were being sold in contravention of the F-gas regulations. Read more…

Amazon in court over illegal F-gas sales – 26 September 2018
ITALY: A group of Italian refrigeration contractors is taking online retailer Amazon to court for continuing to sell HFC refrigerant without requiring buyers to be F-gas certified. Read more…

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