FRANCE: Twenty ac and refrigeration manufacturers, contractors, and end user associations have announced opposition to the French government’s plan to introduce a tax on HFC refrigerants.
In July, the French environment minister Nicolas Hulot announced a proposed tax on HFCs as part of its Climate Plan. In an industry reeling from huge increases on high GWP refrigerants this year, the new tax, which is expected to be included in the budget for 2018, could add well over €100/kg on a refrigerant like R404A.
The 20 associations listed in the opposition document cover food processors; air conditioning, refrigeration and heat pump manufacturers, distributors and installers; refrigerant distributors; refrigerated transport and warehouses, small traders and catering companies.
The groups argue that the answer to the issues of reduction of F-gases is already covered by the European F-gas regulations which will significantly decrease the quantities of HFCs placed on the market. In addition, the French government has previously undertaken not to exceed European laws.
They also maintain that HFC quotas not used in France will only be used elsewhere in Europe, thus negating any effect of the tax. While having no effect on the reduction of HFC use, the groups say it will have a counterproductive effect on French market.
The Associations represented are the French refrigeration association AFF, refrigerant distributor body ADC3R, food processor association ADEPALE, cold climate climate alliance AFCE, the heat pump manufacturers group AFPAC, the geothermal energy concerns of the AFPG, food industry alliance ANIA, construction company group CAPEB and French building federation FFB, the dairy and poultry trade group FNCPLA, refrigeration and air conditioning bodies Snefcca and Uniclima, cold chain society La Chaine Logistique du froid, Les Entreprises de Glaces et Surgelés representing ice cream and frozen food companies, French retailer group Perifem, chemical group SHD, temperature controlled transport federation Transfrigoroute and the refrigerated transport union UNTF, and cold chain operators group USNEF.