EUROPE: Fearing an increase in illegal HFC refrigerant imports, companies from across Europe have called on the European Commission for more rigorous enforcement of the F-gas regulations.
An open letter from the European Flurocarbons Technical Committee (EFCTC), co-signed by 53 European companies and organisations, seeks a tightening and harmonisation of enforcement in all EU member states.
The co-signees call for best practices in terms of border controls and VAT checks, with customs authorities being provided with access to the necessary information and tools.
“Although customs officials can check the HFC registry to know whether an importer is registered under the quota system, no information tells customs how much a company has already imported,” the letter states. It calls for all member states adopt the Single Customs Window without delay thereby allowing a real-time connection between the HFC registry and the customs officials at the border.
To deter participation in the black market, it calls for member states to set higher, more dissuasive fines, and to follow up on cases of illegal smuggling.
“Right now, the possibility of incurring a fine is simply factored in as a business cost by criminal organisations and is marginal compared to the profits that can be made,” they say.