BELGIUM: The refrigerant producers group, the EFCTC, has called on the European Parliament to back proposals to reinforce efforts to stop the illegal trade in HFC refrigerants.
The European Commission’s F-gas review proposals recognise the extent of the problem of black market trade in refrigerants and suggest a number of measures including bringing the trade within the EU Single Window environment, prompting stricter border controls and proposing “dissuasive and proportionate” fines in cases of breaches of the regulation.
Speaking at a meeting at the European Parliament last week hosted by shadow rapporteur and MEP Stelios Kympouropoulos, Mary B Walsh, director of government relations EMEA with EFCTC member company Honeywell, said that the EFCTC supported many of the Commission’s enforcement proposals and looked to the parliament to support those initiatives to come up with more ideas.
Walsh, who revealed that the EFCTC’s own estimates of the illegal trade in 2018/19 was in the region of 70MtCO2e equivalent insisted that the black market activity was not good for the environment and not good for the economy.
As a result of working with an investigations agency since 2019, the EFCTC maintains that there has been over 2,000 take downs of online sales.
“We also looked to discuss with the Commission and other regulators about raising awareness and understanding. And in particular, I’ll highlight the work we’ve done with customs authorities. We’ve had about 20 sessions with customs authorities in 22 markets,” she added.
Walsh also highlighted the quota that allowed an influx of 1000s of new entrants into the market, a system which the EFCTC believes may be being exploited.