Czech Republic hosted the first face-to-face EFCTC Enforcement seminar on the illegal trade of HFCs

13 February 2023

On the 7th of December 2022, EFCTC organized a face-to-face seminar in the Czech Republic, which held the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from June to December 2022. The topic of the event was the illegal trade of hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, into the European Union. The event in Prague was organised in collaboration with PROZON, the Foundation for Climate Protection. It was very well received by the Czech officials, with 38 participants, including the representative from the General Directorate of Customs, Mr. Milan Sekyrka, and the Ministry of Environment from Czech Republic’s competent authority for issues related to F-gases, Ms. Jana Mašíčkova.

The seminar was designed to provide a space for the country’s officials to discuss the topic of illegal trade of HFCs, chemicals covered by the F-gas Regulation (EU) No 517/2014, currently under revision by the EU authorities. During the event, the discussion covered the most known routes of entry of illegal HFCs in the EU territory, the main differences between legal and illegal cylinders, and the key documentations required for the import of HFCs into the EU.

PROZON, with their 25+ years of experience in customs training, provided a practical session where participants could see and handle different types of F-gas cylinders, equipment to test for fluorinated gas leakages and analysers of HFC samples. Furthermore, EFCTC provided some good news in the form of the list of public seizures of smuggled F-gases in different Members States since 2018, accounting for a total of up to 500 tonnes of illegally imported products.

The Proposal for a regulation of The European Parliament and of the Council on fluorinated greenhouse gases, amending Directive (EU) 2019/1937 and repealing Regulation (EU) No 517/2014 was also discussed. EFCTC is very supportive of the addition of articles on improving enforcement.

EFCTC is looking forward to organizing similar events in interested countries and to keep discussing the importance of enforcement in the EU to help the fight against the illegal trade of F-gases.

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