Government response to consultation on F-Gas enforcement is effectively ‘business as usual’ but Defra does commit to considering database issue in more depth
The government has published its summary of responses to its public consultation on F-Gas enforcement, but the results will disappoint those who believe that there needs to be stricter policing of the regulations. Following the consultation, the ‘implementing leglisation’ for the F-Gas Regulation has now been laid before Parliament, with the law coming into force on March 20, subject to Parliamentary approval.
Industry body ACRIB is now looking to press the case for a mandatory database of qualified personnel and certified companies with Defra, following a cool reaction from the government department to the consultation.
A number of respondents to the consultation called for the establishment of such a mandatory database, but Defra rowed back from this, saying the benefits would need to be weighed against the cost of establishing and maintaining it although it ‘welcomes the voluntary database’ currently operated by three different companies.
However, Defra did say it was ‘happy to consider this issue in more depth with the industry.’
In its summary of the responses - there were just 27 from industry associations and companies - Defra said that there had been broad agreement with its proposals, and it saw no reason to change the proposed enforcement regime.
Whilst there were some concerns from industry over various aspects, Defra said it would look to work with industry and would ‘continue to take stock of the adequacy of the enforcement powers as the new EU Regulation beds down.’
Defra said that a warrant would only be needed for access by F-Gas inspectors from the Environment Agency when consent for access is not given by the company involved, which it maintaned ‘will be in relatively few cases.’