Sunday, August 9, 2020

Firms urged to sign up to maintain current environmental standards for gas

UK businesses that produce or trade products that contain F gas or ODSs need to sign up to online system which will maintain current environmental standards.

The government is reminding businesses to register on an online system to ensure the UK maintains current restrictions on the use of fluorinated greenhouse gases after we leave the EU.

The online system controls the use of these harmful greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, including fluorinated gases (F gases), powerful greenhouse gases used in refrigerators and air conditioners, as well as ozone depleting substances.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK businesses that produce or trade in these gases or products that contain them will have to register on the new system by Thursday 14th November. This will replace the current system which controls emissions for all EU Member States.

The new system will enable the UK to continue its commitment to phase down the use of F gas by 79% between 2015 and 2030 to combat climate change.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “World Ozone Day is an important reminder of the need to do everything we can to protect our fragile ozone layer, which is one of the many reasons that this government is making sure that our environmental standards will be not only maintained but enhanced after we leave the EU.

“This online system is part of that commitment, and while we would prefer to leave the EU with a deal, it’s crucial that businesses sign up ahead of 31 October if we cannot reach an agreement.

“This is not only so they can continue to import F gas, but also so that the UK can continue to phase down its use as part of the global fight against climate change.”

Under the new requirements:

  • Businesses that produce or import F gas or ODSs in the UK must register to the new UK system. Businesses are able to register now until 14 November 2019. UK businesses which are already registered on the EU system will receive a reminder email from Defra about how to register. Other businesses can also register online
  • Businesses should register before 31 October so that they can continue their operation as normal from 1 November;
  • Businesses looking to secure an F Gas quota for the first time would need to wait until after 14 November 2019 before they can use their quota to import gas. Anyone registering after 14 November 2019 would not get a quota for 2019 or 2020;
  • 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; and
  • 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.

Technicians qualified in the UK to service products that use F gas or ODSs, such as refrigerators and air conditioners, will continue to be authorised to operate in the UK but not in the EU.

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

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