EU-Imports of certain specific greenhouse gases (the hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulphur hexafluoride and other greenhouse gases) and products containing these gases are regulated on the basis of Regulation No 517/2017 / EU as of 1 January 2017. The aim of this regulation is to contribute to the limitation of climate change by reducing the emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases in the EU. To achieve this goal, the placing on the market of specific fluorinated greenhouse gases and products that contain these gases is subject to quotas which will be steadily reduced. The greenhouse gas HFC-134a (also traded under the name R-134a) is also affected and has been used as cooling liquid in air conditioning of cars for instance.
The implantation process of the new regulations is still ongoing in some port agencies and it is not always clear whether or not cars with air conditioning containing fluorinated greenhouse gas as part of the removal of household goods is affected by the new regulation.
Regulation 517/2017 states in Article 14:
Pre-charging of equipment with hydrofluorocarbons
- From 1 January 2017 refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump equipment charged with hydrofluorocarbons Shall not be placed on the market unless hydrofluorocarbons charged into the equipment are accounted for within the quota system referred to in Chapter IV.
- When placing pre-charged equipment as referred to in paragraph 1 on the market, manufacturers and importers of equipment shall ensure that compliance with paragraph 1 is fully documented and shall draw up a declaration of conformity in this respect.
It is important to note that “place on the market” in the context of the Regulation is defined as:
For the purposes of this Regulation the following definitions apply:
(10) ‘placing on the market’ means supplying or making available to another party in the Union for the first time, for payment or free of charge, or using for its own account in the case of a producer, and includes customs release for free circulation in the Union;
When importing vehicles, refrigerators etc. as part of the household goods, a “supply or making available to another party in the Union” is not taking place. The customer transferring his residency is owner of the imported car etc. and he is importing it as part of the household goods for private purposes / for its own use.
FEDEMAC is of the opinion, that passenger cars, refrigerators, air-conditioning units, etc., which are imported as part of the household goods, even if they contain refrigerants, are not subject to the scope of Regulation No 517/2017 / EU.
With kind regards