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US continues crack down on illegal HFCs

USA: US authorities continue to enforce controls on HFCs under the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act, seizing illegal shipments and pursuing illegal importers. 

Since January 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Customs and Border Protection have denied entry to over 80 shipments of illegal HFCs.

Most recently, the EPA filed an administrative complaint against a company which attempted to illegally import of 34,480.3 lbs (15,640kg) of R134a in 2022. The EPA issued a letter recommending that Customs and Border Protection deny the shipment entry into the US, and the HFCs were subsequently exported.

The complaint seeks a ruling by the administrative law court that the importation by USA Wholesale Inc, a San-Jose-based corporation which sells engine lubricants, and the company’s failure to submit required reports to EPA constitutes violations of the AIM Act and seeks civil penalties.

In addition to preventing illegal imports of HFCs, the EPA is also using its enforcement authorities to target HFC importers that fail to accurately report their import quantities to EPA.

The US Department Of Homeland Security and US Customs and Border Protection have also been active. Since the beginning of March, the authorities have seized around 2 tonnes of illegal HFC and HCFC in more than 20 seizures at border points with Mexico. The seizures have included a range of refrigerant including R410A, R134a and R404A, as well as R22 in shipment sizes from single cylinders upwards. 

Related stories:

$416k fine for illegal HFC23 imports22 March 2024
USA: In what is the largest penalty imposed so far, the US subsidiary of a Japanese chemical company will pay $416,003 for the illegal import of high GWP HFC23. Read more…

HFC smuggler faces charges under US AIM Act5 March 2024
USA: A San Diego man has been arrested and charged with smuggling HFC refrigerants into the US from Mexico and selling them in contravention of the AIM Act. Read more…

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