A cross section of industry that has spoken to RAC Magazine at this year’s Chillventa exhibition warned that the illegal trade of refrigerant may be more widespread than anticipated.
Illegal and counterfeit refrigerants and the need for fresh efforts to tackle their trade across Europe was a significant concern among attendees at the Chillventa exhibition in October.
Attendees at the event that spoke to RAC Magazine during and after the trade show suggested the issues with illegal trade of gas that potentially threatens F-Gas regulation was perhaps more widespread and deeply ingrained than initially suspected.
Refrigerant suppliers and end users alike expressed fears at the apparent ease with which non-complaint refrigerant is entering the supply chain. Greek industry sources suggested during the show that up to 80 per cent of their imports could be illegal.
The Greek cooling industry has been lobbying its government for help, having identified huge volumes of non-compliant refrigerant coming in by road. Reports have suggested gas may even have been smuggled into the country via family cars to avoid detection. Mainland Europe is identified a particular problem to enforce, given the relative freedom of movement.
Suppliers’ body EFTC therefore resolved at Chillventa to share names of companies known to be facilitating non-complaint imports, with the intent to pass the details to regulatory authorities.
Refrigerant manufacturer Honeywell, which has consistently highlighted the threat from counterfeit and illegally imported product to the proper functioning of the F-Gas regulations, stressed that the issue was as now as much of a safety issue as a regulatory one.
Global stationary refrigerants business director Chris LaPietra said, “with the rise in flammable material, shipping in counterfeit refrigerants could be shipping in dangerous goods.”
“From our perspective, we are continuing to work to make the market aware that if a deal sounds too good to be true. It probably is.”
This is an excerpt from a larger story in the November digital edition of RAC Magazine that can be read here. The article appears on page 4.