ILLEGAL TRADE ROUND-UP APRIL 2020
In this round-up: EFCTC press release on EU’s industrial strategy and proposed enforcement actions; Commission states it was keeping a focus on implementation including tackling illegal trade; the EFCTC Action Line so far has proven to be extremely effective; spreading the message – food manufacturers are among businesses being urged to report the illegal imports; compliance with the F-gas Regulation is not just about illegal trade; illegal imports are also a problem outside the EU and the new iPIC platform now includes HFCs.
EFCTC Press release welcomes EU’s industrial strategy and proposed enforcement actions: The press release welcomes the launch of the European Commission’s Industrial Strategy and within it the Long-term action plan for better implementation and enforcement of single market rules, the action plan on the Customs Union in 2020 to reinforce customs controls, including a legislative proposal for an EU Single Window to allow for fully digital clearance processes at the border and the establishment of a new Chief Trade Enforcement Officer. EFCTC supports any and all initiatives that contribute concretely to better border controls in view of stopping the import of illegal imports of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Read the complete press release here. Find out more about illegal trade of HFCs here.
The Commission, in the context of the F-gas review stated it was keeping a focus on implementation including tackling illegal trade: The Customs 2020 group has adopted checklists to be used by customs authorities (front desk) for bulk and pre-charged equipment. The checklists are comprehensive, raise awareness and can facilitate checks. A proposal is envisaged to continue funding the Customs 2020 Group for 2 more years.
The EFCTC Action Line so far has proven to be extremely effective: In the first few months, we received no less than 228 reports of illegal activities, including 12 in France. It is essential to raise awareness and strengthen border controls so that EU environmental laws, such as the F-Gas regulation, are duly applied in all Member States. Read the complete article in LaRPF.
Food manufacturers are among businesses being urged to report the illegal importation of HFC (hydrofluorocarbon) gases. Read the complete article in Food Manufacture.
Compliance with the F-gas Regulation is not just about illegal trade: In Norway the Norwegian Environment Agency has exposed widespread non-compliance with the European F-gas regulations among heat pump and refrigerant vendors. The main failings related to ensuring purchasers of heat pumps/cooling systems have demonstrated that a certified installer will be used, and similarly that purchasers of HFCs are a certified business. Read the complete article on Cooling Post.
Illegal imports are also a problem outside the EU: UNEP has reported on action against refrigerant smugglers in Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Lao Environment Police raided a shop, following a tip off. In the shop, officials found hundreds of cylinders of R-22, R-32, R-134a and R-410a refrigerants, all of which require permits in Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Without appropriate documentation, that means confiscation. Read the complete UNEP news article here.
The iPIC platform, assisting Montreal Protocol implementation, has been updated and now includes HFCs. Now includes HFCs and HFC mixtures following the Kigali Amendment. iPIC is a voluntary and informal mechanism of information exchange on intended trade between countries in ozone depleting substances (ODS) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), mixtures containing these as well as products and equipment. It enables countries to share details of eligible importers and exporters with other member countries through a secure online platform. iPIC has helped to clarify the status of many hundreds of suspicious or uncertain shipments of ODS since its inception and has been responsible for preventing hundreds of illegal, unauthorised and ‘unwanted’ shipments. In the future it will become more important for HFC trade. The new iPIC platform brochure can be downloaded here.