Illegal trade was raised by about 18 stakeholders in their feedback to the Commission on Fluorinated greenhouse gases – review of EU rules (2015-20). The main themes raised are:
- Circumventing the quota system undermines the efforts made by the European market to reduce CO2 emissions from F-gases.
- It creates unfair competition and damages the economic viability of those that comply with the legal requirements, particularly for operators close to European borders. Compliant companies are not able to compete with the illegal goods.
- The 100t CO2e threshold for quota requirement is a loophole that is being exploited
- The abuse of the T1 Transit process, which has been identified as an important route for illegal imports of HFCs.
- The whole supply chain has a disconnect due in part to companies that only buy and sell F-gases do not have to keep records.
- The customs/imports systems and procedures for verifying the validity of legal and correct HFC quota shipments is an area of major concern.
- On-line sales of illegal refrigerant gas in disposable cylinders are sold without any control.
- There is a loophole in the definition of “non-refillable container”.
- It is usually impossible to distinguish the illegal f-gases from the legal ones, especially for a small company.
- The illegal f-gases can be contaminated and of low quality, causing damage to the equipment and threating safety.
- The absence of dissuasive penalties for the illegal trade of refrigerants.
All of these issues have been raised over the past two years and measures to address them have been suggested as part of the stakeholder submissions or in other fora.
To read all the stake holder feedback go to: