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Survey finds 79% of commercial fridges in breach of EU regulations

BELGIUM: Four out of five commercial refrigeration cabinets have been found to be in breach of the EU energy labelling regulation and eco-design directives.

Monitoring and testing by 17 market surveillance authorities and a national agency in 15 EU member states found discrepancies in technical literature, inflated energy performance figures and smaller internal volumes than stated.

The checks were carried out over 30 months under EEPLIANT2 Joint Action in Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Sweden. 

The project reviewed the technical documentation and tested the energy performance of household refrigeration appliances, professional refrigeration products, and the energy consumption resulting from appliances on network standby. 

The final results revealed non-compliance issues in 40% of household refrigerators, 79% of professional refrigerators, and 80% of network stand-by related products tested. 

The EEPLIANT2 Action is a project coordinated by ProSafe – the Product Safety Forum of Europe – and funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 framework. 

ProSafe admits that the results are not necessarily representative of the situation on the market, because MSAs targeted also the products that were more likely to be non-compliant. However, many participants were said to have been surprised and concerned by the high level of non-compliance found across the three product groups.

Twenty three of the 29 cabinets tested in an independent certified laboratory are said to have failed in a significant respect. For 15 cabinets, the measured energy consumption was higher than that declared by more than the prescribed verification tolerance and over half of the cabinets were found to have a measured internal volume significantly smaller than the declared value.

The EEPLIANT2 teams also sought changes to declared data (including label classes and duty ratings) in 40% of the technical documentation of 64 professional cabinet refrigerators. 

Enforcement actions are said to be on-going against non-compliant products and several models have already been removed from the market. A total of seven penalty fines were imposed. 

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