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Euro groups call for unified approach to shutdowns

EUROPE: Eurovent and REHVA have called on the EU and member states for better coordination of HVACR factory shutdowns to ensure the continuity of critical supply chains.

Adding their voices to previous calls for the HVACR sector to be recognised as an essential business, Eurovent, which represents more than 1,000 European HVACR organisations, and REHVA, the Federation of European HVAC Associations, maintain that the European HVACR market has currently lost at least 50% of its production capacity due to measures taken during the Covid-19 crisis. 

In its position statement, Eurovent and REHVA strongly advise regional, national and local authorities worldwide to include businesses active in the manufacturing, distribution, installation, maintenance and repair of HVACR equipment as essential businesses with reasonable exemptions from shutdowns and travel restrictions. HVACR manufacturers must be allowed to ensure a minimum of production and guarantee the availability of spares and replacements, the groups say. 

While the organisations insist that the industry supports all activities and restrictions necessary to fight the pandemic, it warns of severe consequences of uncoordinated shutdowns. It calls on the EU and all its member states to better coordinate to ensure the continuity of supply chains in critical infrastructure. 

Data from Eurovent Market Intelligence show that Italian factories alone provide about 20% of all finished products to the European HVACR market and over 40% in refrigeration and IT cooling.

Last week, Matteo Liberali, CEO of Italian heat exchanger product manufacturer Lu-Ve criticised the adoption of increasingly drastic measures in different countries, with no coordination even at EU level in the adoption of timely and shared measures to deal with the emergency. This, he claimed, had lead to confusion and unequal competition between companies from different countries. He estimated that its group global production capacity was down at around 50-55%.

Brian Suggitt, president of Eurovent Middle East, said: “Governments currently imposing shutdowns on HVACR businesses need to keep in mind, that this not only disrupts the supply chain in their own country but cuts off other countries and regions dependent on imports of essential products. This is especially true for developing countries around the world that do not have the capacity to sustain the functioning of vital, life-critical infrastructure without the necessary products.”

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