BELGIUM: The fluorocarbon refrigerant manufacturers’ group, EFCTC, has welcomed the European Commission decision to escalate the case against Romania for failing to introduce penalties for breaches of the F-gas regulation.
After Romania failed to act on a letter of formal notice sent last year, the European Commission announced last week that it had moved to the second step in the infringement procedure with a reasoned opinion – a formal request to comply with EU law.
“We are seeing significant quantities of illegal HFCs, primarily in banned non-refillable containers entering and being used in the EU. It is essential that member states adopt effective and dissuasive penalties and enforcement measures to prevent illegal trade in HFCs,” stated EFCTC chairman Nick Campbell.
Referring to two recent seizures in Italy, which was also sent a letter of formal notice last year and subsequently introduced penalties at the beginning of this year, Campbell said: “We are expecting similar actions from other member states. This action from the Commission will provide the opportunity for Romania to do the same.”
The EFCTC reports that it has now received more than 200 hundred reports of illegal F-gas activity to the confidential Action Line it established last year.
As well as passing on these reports to the relevant authorities, the EFCTC has also been working with the business investigation agency Kroll. “Our partner has followed up on all of more than 200 hundred reports received so far,” said Nick Campbell. “In response to our requests, Internet market platforms have removed about hundred offers of illegal HFCs.”
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