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Friday, June 2, 2023

Revised F-gas to ensure cylinder returns

Europe: Refrigerant sellers will need to provide evidence that they are returning cylinders for refilling under the F-gas amendment proposal.

The latest proposal, which will be voted on by the European Parliament at the end of this month, includes a provision to ensure so-called “refillable” cylinders are not thrown away. When placing refillable containers on the market, businesses will need to produce a declaration of conformity, including evidence of arrangements for returning cylinders for refilling.

These arrangements will contain binding obligations of cylinder suppliers to end users to comply with these arrangements.

The declaration of conformity will be required to be kept for at least five years and made available to the competent authorities and committees of the member states on request.

Although single-use (non-refillable) steel cylinders have been banned in the European Union since 2007, they have become the container of choice for black marketers illegally importing refrigerants in violation of current F-gas regulations.

Article 2, paragraph 13, of the current regulations defines non-refillable containers as “containers which cannot be refilled without modification or which are placed on the market but are not provided for return for refilling”.

A belated crackdown by authorities in EU member states finally stopped the flow of gas in illegal disposables, but illegal operators simply switched to “refillable” cylinders. However, no provision is provided for their refilling, so they effectively become disposable.

Disposable cylinders were initially banned due to the “tail” of refrigerant that inevitably remained in the “empty” cylinder. It is estimated that the vapor and liquid residue may comprise up to 10% of the original refrigerant charge – all of which are inevitably released into the atmosphere.

this cooling column Authorities were alerted to the illegality for the first time in 2019. The new proposal is one of several new measures in the amendment to combat illicit trade.

Related stories:

The rise of the disposable “refillable”January 23, 2019
Europe: The crackdown on the supply of illegal single-use cylinder refrigerants has created a new illegal market for the sale of refrigerants in refillable cylinders. read more…

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