The mobile air conditioning industry has come together to fight smuggled, illegal refrigerants on the market across Europe.
Prices for older legitimate refrigerants have risen, as gasses such as r134a are being phased out by the European Parliament, creating a gap for illicit products, which are usually supplied in non-complaint containers.
However, the European Fluorocarbons Technical Committee (EFCTC) launches a pledge for industry and citizens to ‘encourage joint action across the refrigerant value chain to eradicate the black market for hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a threat to Europe’s climate goals and the environment’.
Since 2015, the EU’s F-gas regulation aims to phase down the climate impact of HFCs through an established quota system. However, Oxera assessment of HFC trade flow data, analysed by EFCTC in June 2020 concluded that the black market for illegally imported HFCs in Europe in 2018 contributed up to 34 million tonnes of CO₂ equivalent.
Speaking at the Chillventa online exhibition, Felix Flohr, Sales and Marketing Manager, Regulatory Specialist at Daikin Chemical, said: “We stand behind the F-gas regulation, but the EU and member states should meet ambitious legislation with ambitious enforcement at their borders . Fines need to be higher, harmonised and consistent across all member states. Customs officers need to be equipped with the tools to identify illegally imported HFCs and access the HFC registry in real time.”