F-Gases & ODS (Brexit UK)

The UK Government has today issued a Technical Notice of instructions on using and trading F-Gases and ODS. This notice is here.

If there is no deal :

(1) The UK will regulate fluorinated greenhouse gases (F gas) and ozone-depleting substances (ODS) from 30 March 2019.

(2) The EU F gas and ODS regulations will no longer apply in the UK from 30 March 2019.

(3) New UK regulations will transfer most of the requirements of the EU regulations into UK law. [these are not yet published in draft, when they are published, I will add to the Brexit Law List in Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers & Checklists]

(4) The UK will continue to:

• restrict ODS

• use the same schedule as the EU to phase down HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons, the most common type of F gas) by 79% by 2030 relative to a 2009 to 2012 baseline

That means UK F gas quotas will follow the same phase down steps as the EU:

• limited to 63% of the baseline in 2019 and 2020

• reducing to 45% of the baseline in 2021

(5) The UK will manage its own quota systems, and UK companies will need to register for a UK quota.

Where a company produces, imports or exports HFCs (the main class of F gases) or ODS, or products containing HFCs or ODS, it will need to apply for a:

• UK quota to place them on the UK market

• EU quota to place them on the EU market

If the company imports or exports ODS, including to and from the EU, it will need to apply for a UK import or export licence.

(6) The Environment Agency will administer the systems for the whole of the UK.

(7) After 30 March 2019 a company will need a UK HFC quota if it places on the UK market HFCs equivalent to 100 tonnes or more of carbon dioxide (CO2 ) per year. This total includes any imports to the UK from the EU.

(8) The Environment Agency will manage a new UK F gas system, including UK HFC quota allocation.

Companies will need to register on the new UK F gas system to:

• apply for a UK quota

• report on activities

If the Environment Agency has company data, it may register details for you.

The Environment Agency will publish details of how to use the UK F gas systems in early 2019. [I will update this post, or issue a separate post, at that time]

(9) Leak detection and other obligations will not change.

(10) Further rules are set out in the Notice, this post is not a full summary. Please read the Notice.

EU F-Gas Regulation (HFCs) Query

Update: Enactment is now expected March 2014. The latest draft may be viewed here.

New EU Regulation is proposed (to replace the existing F-Gas Regulation and cap the total placement of bulk HFCs, in tonnes of CO2 equivalent, on the market in the EU).

The existing F-Gas Regulation will be repealed and substituted for this new EU Regulation. The current provisions of the F-Gas Regulation will continue, adjustments will improve implementation and enforcement by national authorities. Some containment measures will be extended to refrigerated trucks and trailers.

The main new aspect is to freeze the placement of bulk HFCs on the EU market in 2015, followed by initial reduction in 2016, to reach 21% of the levels sold in 2008–11 by 2030.

In particular, the cap mechanism proposes:

(a) new entrants to be permitted;

(b) free quotas to be allocated to companies based on past reporting data, with a reserve for new entrants;

(c) quotas to be transferable;

(d) compliance checking to be the following year, with independent verification of reports;

(c) small quantity exemption to be available.

Recharging of existing refrigeration equipment with a charge size over 5 tonnes of CO2 equivalent with HFC of very high GWP (>2500) will not be permitted from 2020 onwards. The view is there will be more adequate and energy efficient drop-in refrigerants of lower GWP widely available on the market.

Here is the EU law-making procedure file, which identifies March 2014 the next date.

HFC Substitution (EIA Report)

Interesting update by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), an NGO, looking into progress made with HFC substitution.

Here is the 2008 Report into Natural Refrigerants (Proklima International for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development BMZ). It is a large report and so can be a bit slow to load.