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EFCTC sees enforcement as critical to F-gas review

EUROPE: The refrigerant manufacturers see enforcement as “critical” to the review of the F-gas regulations currently being undertaken by the European Commission.

The EC’s recently published Combined Evaluation Roadmap/Inception Impact Assessment outlines a number of possible changes to the regulation. These include aligning the regulations more closely to the Montreal Protocol’s Kigali Amendment, and implementing further usage restrictions. They also propose a greater enforcement of the regulations and a clamp down on illegal imports and quota abuses.

Underlining what the refrigerant manufacturers’ group, the EFCTC, sees as the importance of reviewing the current regulation, chairman Dr Nick Campbell said: “We believe that one of the critical topics that the review must concentrate on is the enforcement of the regulation. 

“There is evidence of large quantities of illegally imported HFCs entering the European Union and this must be addressed during the review by the addition of measures aimed at improved monitoring and reporting, in particular a strengthening of the regulation with respect to transit procedures.”

He also stressed the importance of harmonisation across EU member states with “effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties” for offenders.

A rise in HFC refrigerant prices as a result of the F-gas phase down, created a widespread black market in illegal imports across the EU and has undermined the environmental intentions of the regulation. The EFCTC recently reported that the illegal trade accounted for as much as a third of the legitimate F-gas quota in 2018.

“Whilst it is essential that the current status of the transition and the availability of alternatives are evaluated, the review of the regulation must take into account and must not disrupt the ongoing investments that industry are undertaking to enable the European market to achieve compliance with the regulation,” Campbell added.

Related stories:

EC seeks feedback on F-gas review1 July 2020
EUROPE: The European Commission is seeking feedback from the market on the forthcoming review of the F-gas regulations (517/2014) which could place further restrictions on HFC refrigerants. Read more…

Illegal imports a third of the European F-gas quota27 June 2020
BELGIUM: The refrigerant manufacturers estimate that the illegal trade in HFC refrigerants in 2018 could have been as high as 34MtCO2e, or a third of the legal European quota. Read more…

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