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F-Gas enforcement reforms eyed as key aim of regulations review – Refrigeration and Air Conditioning

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The EFCTC calls for an improvement and expansion of the monitoring and reporting of illegal practices in the European refrigerant market

Any successful revision of F-Gas regulation must ensure improvements in the enforcement of the legislation itself and a crackdown on black market trade, according to a major trade body.

The European FluoroCarbons Technical Committee (EFCTC) said it hoped that a clearer legislative focus on stopping the illegal trade of HFCs, as well as penalties for those flouting the regulations, would be the outcome of an ongoing review of the F-Gas legislation.

The EFCTC told RAC Magazine that its members would welcome a “thorough analysis” of the New Entrant system that organisations must apply for to begin supplying HFCs on the market.  The organisation said that this analysis would ensure companies that have invested in the handling, distribution, recovery and recycling of refrigerant were not being disadvantaged when compared to suppliers not following the F-Gas regulations.

EFCTC added, “We would also like to see an improvement and broadening of monitoring and reporting by companies importing HFCs plus verification of reported data.”

“We also would like to see a continuation and, where appropriate, an acceleration in the transition to lower-GWP alternatives taking into account that many users have planned their transition based upon the current regulation.”

Formal proposals from the F-Gas review are expected to be released at some point in 2021 with figures from across the cooling sector expecting some form of stricter targets and quotas to be introduced under the law.

A ‘roadmap’ of the review published by the European Commission in June did note concerns about a lack of enforcement that would need to be addressed.

The EFCTC said it was now in the process of prepping a short response to this initial roadmap document and impact assessments.  At the same time, the body is also developing broader views on all articles of the current regulation.

On a general level, the EFCTC said it believed that the F-Gas regulation was a successful step around controlling the use and resultant emissions from refrigerant with high GWP, while pushing industry towards alternative products.

Experts within the committee said that the cooling industry has largely self-funded the investment that has been required to switch to alternative gas and products that curb greenhouse gas emissions.

The EFCTC said it did not expect this onus on funding to change. However, the body welcomed any discussions on alternative initiatives and means to support industry to meet F-Gas targets.

The organisation said, “Under the circular economy, governments should evaluate how they can assist in increasing significantly recovery, recycling and reclamation.”

RAC Magazine – Refrigeration & Air Conditioning News & Contracts

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