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Govt launches its F-Gas quota system in case of no-deal Brexit

Regulations and supply remain the same, so ‘business as usual’ for contractors and end-users

The government has launched a new online system to ensure the UK maintains current restrictions on the use of F-Gases in the event of a no deal Brexit.

If the UK leaves the EU on March 29 without a deal, UK businesses that produce or trade in F-Gases, Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs) or products that contain them will have to register on the new system by April 12, 2019. This will replace the current system which controls emissions for all EU Member States.

While it would be ’business as usual’ for contractors in terms of F-Gas recording, Defra took the opportunity to underline that ’technicians qualified in the UK to service products that use F gas or ODSs…will continue to be authorised to operate in the UK but not in the EU.’

It added that UK certified technicians who work in the EU should ’monitor decisions made by the EU Commission and Member State governments.’

Defra says the new system will enable the UK to continue ’its ambitious commitment’ - which of course is the EU commitment - to phase down the use of F-Gas by 79 per cent between 2015 and 2030.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: “Delivering a negotiated deal with the EU remains the government’s top priority, but it is the job of a responsible government to ensure we are prepared for all scenarios, including no deal. The new system is part of the government’s commitment to maintain environmental standards once we leave the EU. The continued phase out of harmful greenhouse gases is critical to the global fight against climate change.”

Under the new requirements, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal:

  • Businesses that produce or import F gas or ODSs in the UK must register to the new UK system. Businesses are able to register between now and April 12, 2019. UK businesses which are already registered on the EU system will receive an email from Defra about how to register. Other businesses can also register online;
  • Businesses that register before exit day (March 29, 2019) will be able to operate as normal from March 30, 2019. Anyone who registers between March 30 and April 12, 2019 would have to wait for their registration and quota application to be approved before they can trade;
  • Businesses looking to secure an F Gas quota for the first time would need to wait until after April 12, 2019 before they can use their quota to import gas. Anyone registering after April 12, 2019 would not get a quota for 2019;
  • UK businesses that import products containing F Gas or ODSs must be authorised under the new UK system;
  • UK businesses that export F gas or ODSs, or products containing them, to the EU would need to set up an office in the EU or appoint an ’Only Representative’ to meet EU regulations;
  • Businesses and members of the public that use products that contain F Gas or ODSs should continue to operate as they do now as regulations and supply will remain the same.

Businesses and technicians that may be affected are advised to read the latest guidance on using and trading in F Gas and ODSs after the UK leaves the EU.

Readers' comments (1)

  • The government should also ensure that meeting our international target is place as we are a signatory to Kigali Amendments to the Montreal Protocol. Ensure our Building Guidelines and Health & Safety procedures with Industry Certified training for any New A2L low GWP refrigerants are in place with all manufacturers taking responsibility rather than laying the blame on Installers or users if it goes wrong. We need a healthy responsible industry without politics and games. Neil Afram

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