EIA and EFCTC seek action on illegal HFC trade


Uk: Eco-friendly group the EIA and refrigerant producers overall body EFCTC have both equally called for comparable steps to thwart the illegal trade in F-gases in Europe.

In independent opinions responses to the European Commission’s F-gasoline regulation revision proposals, both organisations largely concur on restricting on the web gross sales of F-gases, the location of least penalties across EU member states for non-compliance and EU funding for the destruction of seized materials. 

Although the aims of the two organisations would ordinarily be thought of to be diametrically reverse, their views on the illegal trade in HFC refrigerants, and ways to fight it, generally concur, albeit, possibly, for unique factors.  

In a joint submission with other environmental NGOs, the EIA maintains that the on line sale of F-gases – recognised as a key route for the illegal trade – must be limited to “genuine F-gasoline quota holders” through a procedure of necessary certification or through registration in the F-gasoline portal. It also insists that there need to be demands to make certain that undertakings are skilled to tackle F-gases. 

“Moreover, the sale of F-gases through on the internet marketplaces, this kind of as Facebook, Amazon and EBay, should really be banned,” it states.

The EFCTC also phone calls for possibly a ban for F-gases product sales on on-line marketplaces or the introduction of required certification for undertakings offering bulk F-gases on the web.

The two teams also mainly agree on the setting of bare minimum penalties across EU member states for non-compliance. The EFCTC insists that existing penalties in a lot of member states “are as well low to act as any type of deterrent” to illegal functions. The EIA concurs, insisting that it would “be a lot more helpful to established bare minimum penalties for non-compliance, demanding both civil and legal sanctions, in addition to greatest administrative fines”.

Destruction

Illegal refrigerant seizures make a dilemma for customs authorities because confiscation or seizure arrives at a cost for storage and destruction and the revision proposals prohibit re-export.

Both equally groups counsel funding for its destruction need to be furnished by the EU. The EIA claims the EU should really build a fund to guide member states with the expenses of confiscation or seizure and subsequent transport, storage and destruction, funded by the income from the quota allocation price. The EFCTC asks that steerage is mandated for the disposal of confiscated merchandise, containers and tools remaining illegally imported into the EU and funding be allotted to the member states for destruction, if that is their preferred option.

“Refillable” cylinders

When there is wide settlement on some problems of unlawful trade, the EIA goes even further on a amount of points together with the definition of “refillable container” in respect of the ban on disposable cylinders.

Much of the unlawful trade in Europe considering the fact that the implementation of the F-gasoline period down has observed typified by the sale of unlawful refrigerant in disposable (non-refillable) cylinders – a variety of container which, itself, has been banned in Europe considering the fact that 2007. A belated crackdown by some European authorities observed the illegal traders switching to supposedly refillable cylinders – a insignificant inconvenience as the marginally bigger cylinder price is additional than offset by the unlawful traders probable earnings.  

On the other hand, in most situations of unlawful trade this continue to contravenes the F-gasoline regulation 517/2014. Write-up 2 (13) of the regulation defines a non-refillable container as a “container which can’t be refilled without the need of getting adapted for that function or is put on the industry with no provision getting been manufactured for its return for refilling”. 

As initially revealed by the Cooling Submit, a lot of on the internet sellers possibly dismissed this prerequisite, offering no system for its return, or managed that the cylinder turned the residence of the purchaser. Even some “legitimate”, quota-keeping refrigerant gross sales corporations have been, and maybe still are, in breech of this regulation. 

In its feed-back document, the EIA states: “It is unclear what evidence must exist of this kind of “provision” for return for refilling or how it is to be furnished, boosting the threat that refillable containers will only be made use of as non-refillable containers (also prohibited) – a unique trouble in illegal HFC trade.

“To this conclude, the Commission should be empowered to undertake delegated functions outlining the evidentiary prerequisites to fulfill this necessity,” it adds.

Licensing requirements

Whilst both of those teams support connecting the F-gasoline Portal to the EU Customs One Window Environment Certification Exchange Procedure, the EIA goes more in calling for a removing of the licensing necessity exemptions. 

The EIA argues that the licence exemptions in Post 20 will “significantly undermine its usefulness through the development of loopholes which can be abused by illegal traders”. 

The HFC exemptions consists of those people in momentary storage, HFCs imported into the EU for destruction or for use in feedstock applications, HFCs equipped for export out of the EU, HFCs provided for use in armed service equipment and those people provided for use in the etching of semiconductor materials or the cleansing of substances.

It argues that HFCs really should be bundled in the licensing system, in line with the strategy taken by the Montreal Protocol. “Undertakings importing or exporting any HFCs, no matter whether or not for reasons that are exempt from the HFC phase-down, ought to be required to sign up in the F-gas Portal and to have a valid licence. The exemptions listed less than Posting 20(4) should be deleted,” the EIA says.

The joint EIA submission also bundled the sights of the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), ECOS, CAN-Europe, Local weather Advisers Community, 2 Celsius, ECODES, Deutsche Umwelthilfe, Legambiente and ZERO.

The responses have been submitted to the European Fee through the official feedback window which closed on 29 June.The Commission insists that all feedback received will be summarised and offered to the European Parliament and Council with the goal of feeding into the legislative discussion.

Relevant tales:

F-gas proposals “unrealistic”26 June 2022
EUROPE: EPEE promises that the proposed revisions to the European F-fuel regulation will significantly effect the essential accelerated heat pump roll out and jeopardise the EU’s REPowerEU aims. Read through more…

Field calls for rethink on F-fuel proposals – 5 April 2022
BELGIUM: Marketplace groups have been quick to voice concerns that the EC’s F-gas revision proposal includes “worrying” machines prohibitions and an “unsustainable” period-down that possibility undermining its own environmental ambitions. Read more…

EC proposes steep HFC cuts and use bans – 5 April 2022
EUROPE: The European air conditioning and refrigeration field could confront stringent cuts in HFC refrigerants and bans on widespread AC refrigerants in new EC proposals to strengthen the F-fuel regulation. Read more…

F-gasoline quota cuts will strike warmth pump ambitions – 15 March 2022
BELGIUM: The main European associations have known as on the European Commission to rethink its accelerated HFC period down proposals or possibility jeopardising the change to heat pumps. Read more…

Increase of the disposable “refillable”23 January 2019
EUROPE: A clampdown on the provide of refrigerant in illegal disposable cylinders has produced a new illicit industry in refrigerant remaining offered in refillable cylinders. Browse more…



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