Industry groups across the European Union (EU) have joined forces calling for more enforcement of the F-Gas Regulation to stem the growing trade in illegal refrigerants.

The European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE), representing the refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump industry in Europe, has joined forces with three leading associations in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) sector, namely the EFCTC representing fluorocarbon manufacturers, Airconditioning and Refrigeration European Association (AREA) and French Association the ADC3R.

In a statement the groups said: “As growing illegal trade of refrigerants is reported, the associations call on all market players to only buy refrigerants from reputable sources in order to ensure the safe and efficient operation of HVACR equipment. Illegally imported refrigerant can present a major risk for the health and safety of installers and users and for the reliability of equipment. In case of accidents which may result from the use of unknown substances contained in illegally imported containers or cylinders, installers will ultimately be responsible.”

EPEE director general, Andrea Voigt, said industry cannot afford loopholes in the enforcement of the F-Gas Regulation.

“There is no need for illegal imports. There are sustainable and lower GWP refrigerants and technologies available today to contribute to meeting the requirements under the F-Gas Regulation,” Voigt said.

AREA secretary general, Olivier Janin, said authorities are ultimately responsible for the proper enforcement of the F-Gas Regulation.

“We call on all actors -including EU and National competent authorities - to also play their part in enforcing stricter controls at EU borders,” Janin said.

The European Commission said it is working on this issue as a priority and the associations intend to work with them over the coming months to help accelerate progress.

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