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Drop pre-charged exports from F-Gas quota, industry bodies urge

Bodies including AREA, FETA and ASERCOM have called for exports of EU manufactured pre-charged cooling equipment to be exempt from HFC phase-down restrictions

Cooling industry bodies have called for the EC to exempt the refrigerant exported in pre-charged equipment from F-Gas quotas, which they say is unfair to European manufacturers.

letter from industry groups such as AREA, FETA, ASERCOM and a number of others has warned that the Commission’s decision to include export equipment in the quota unduly reduces the competitiveness of EU-based equipment manufacturers.

The signatories argue that excluding these exports would help level the playing field in the global market for more innovative and energy efficient cooling technologies.

A survey conducted by cooling body Epee and partners estimates that pre-charged equipment intended for export accounts for around one per cent of the 2018 F-Gas quota for 2018. Thus, the bodies say, it won’t make a huge difference to the phasedown to take them out, whereas it will help the manufacturers not to have to pay for the quota for exported equipment.

The signatories argue that recent developments in the HFC market that have seen soaring prices and low availability of commonly used refrigerant are a key reason to amend the current policy on exported equipment.

The letter says: “From a competitiveness perspective, properly applying the quota system to ‘pre-charged’ equipment exports helps to partly level the playing field between companies manufacturing inside and outside the EU. Indeed, companies who manufacture in the EU must cope with the use of new refrigerants and components, while their competitors outside of the EU don’t have to.”

All the signatories reiterated their ongoing support of the HFC phase-down strategy that they said had been backed by each organisation from its inception. Yet the letter stated that concerns on some of the impacts of the phase-down on the refrigerant market were serious.

The bodies say that the EU can take the export quota out without having to make legislative changes.

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