29 September 2019

In this round-up, a summary of EFCTC actions and initiatives, seizures of illegal HFCs and disposables and new UK guidance on refillable containers. EFCTC activities to combat illegal trade in HFCs have gained further momentum:

  • The EFCTC press release “EFCTC stepping up actions against Illegal Trade in HFCs” can be read here.
  • Over 150 leads on the EFCTC “Action Line.”
  • “Evidence packs” have been produced and are being discussed with National Enforcement Authorities. It is anticipated that this will lead rapidly to both further seizures of illegally imported HFCs as well as prosecutions of offenders.
  • Investigations into the trade in illegal disposables has led to over 150 take-downs of products from Internet marketplaces across the whole of the EU.
  • EFCTC has written to the major automobile suppliers that use HFC-134a to service a large proportion of the fleet through their official dealerships requesting that, they make them aware of the situation regarding the illegal imports and the requirement to legally source HFC-134a. See the press release here.
  • EFCTC carried out an analysis of the legal implementation and enforcement of the F-gas Regulation 517/20142 in 12 Member States. The study has revealed big differences between them. EFCTC will be approaching some Member States individually to discuss constructively their enforcement strategy to accomplish our common goal. At the same time, we will share the results of the study with the Commission, so they have a more complete picture of the differences. See the press release here.

See the EFCTC website dedicated section on illegal trade for the latest information, news and press releases.

Seizures of illegal HFCs: GREECE: Authorities in Greece have seized over 23 tonnes of illegal HFC refrigerant found in a warehouse near Athens (See Cooling Post). POLAND: Environmental protection officers in Zielona Góra, western Poland, have reported the seizure of over 1,000 cylinders of quota-busting HFC refrigerant from China.(See Cooling Post). SPAIN: Eight people have now been arrested, and refrigerant valued at €500,000 recovered, after raids by police across Catalonia. (See Cooling Post). ITALY: Customs authorities in Palermo have intercepted a shipment of refrigerant, including HFCs and the banned HCFC R22, from Tunisia. (See Cooling Post).

UK Guidance on refillable containers: Refillable containers. You must sell F- gas in refillable containers if it will be used to service, maintain or fill refrigeration, air-conditioning or heat-pump equipment, fire protection systems or switchgear or as a solvent. You must take back containers from customers to refill them. Your containers are only classed as refillable if you have a process for customers to return containers to you for refilling. Issued on 21 August 2019 see UK guidance.

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